They are our children..!

THE last weekend for me was a relaxing trip out of town with two close friends of mine. We drove to a hill station, and stopped at a well known restaurant for lunch. It was an open air eatery and as we sat we could see car loads of families coming with hungry passengers looking famished and tired. The fathers seated themselves at the head of the table and drank their beer while the mothers ordered.
Suddenly I felt a hush. Every man in the room was looking out. I had my back to the car park and asked my friends what had happened: “It’s a car full of young girls!” said one of them. Every man in the room had his eyes fixed outside while the mothers and wives pretended to be busy, as they tried to divert their children’s eyes and attentions from their father’s lusty stares. I saw the girls entering: They were children! Just about fifteen to seventeen years old. My heart went out to them as they came in eyes down and felt themselves ravaged by the lecherous looks they were getting. It’s not that I did not look at them, it’s just that as I looked a thought came to me; they’re like my own daughters! They are my children!
A reporter who was covering the tragic war in Sarajevo saw a little girl shot by a sniper. The reporter threw down his pad and pencil and rushed to the aid of the man who was now holding the child. He helped them both into his car and sped off to a hospital. “Hurry, my friend,” the man urged, “my child is still alive.”
A moment or two later he pleaded, “Hurry, my friend, my child is still breathing.” In a little later he said, “Hurry, my friend, my child is still warm.” When they got to the hospital, the doctors took over and slowly brought the child back to consciousness. “Thank God!” the man said to the reporter. “I must go back and tell her father his child is alive!”
The reporter was amazed. He looked at the man and said, “I thought she was your child.” The man replied, “No, but aren’t they all our children?” What a fascinating question: Aren’t they all our children? Those girls in the restaurant and across the street? In the next house? Aren’t they all our children? Ours to feed? Ours to clothe? Ours to educate? Ours to keep safe? But mostly, ours to love? Is there a greater privilege?
I have a great many whom I consider my friends, but in my mind I have over the years realized there are only a handful I would trust with my children! Those are men who are good inside, men of character, who have passions just like you and me but honour that is greater. Are you one of those? Would you be able to look at pretty girl or handsome boy and say, “they are our children?”
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