Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Walk the Talk

Well, no comments on the earlier post but as a good Libra and a good teacher, I try to see other sides to an argument.

It is interesting to me that the US where so many feel that the culture is not supportive of children (based on the unhelpful and downright rude comments that so many families, large or small, built through biology or adoption, religious or secular, uni-racial, or trans-racial/transcultural recieve -- and if you don't believe me just read mommy blogs for a while), there is actually an amazing infrastructure of schools, agencies, social workers, and laws devoted to children's welfare. Whereas, so many countries where the prevailing "talk" of the culture is very pro-child (entire buses try to soothe a crying child, children are always greeted with a smile, and the conventional wisdom is that children are a blessing from God), the actual infrastructure devoted to children's welfare is very weak.

Is it that the poorer countries are mired in too much poverty to accommodate children's needs? Yet, so much can be done with so little: promotion of breastfeeding, vaccination, mosquito netting, free compulsory education, etc. And in so many poorer countries, the corrupt elites siphon off so much money into their own pockets. . . and in many countries, adoption of orphans isn't even an option for locals or foreigners. What keeps them from walking their talk about the blessing of children?

And in the US, where we do do so much for children at the individual, community, and societal level, why is the "talk" about kids so negative?

And, just to make it interesting, why is it that countries that do even more for kids, lengthy maternity leaves, universal health care, subsidized schooling, stipends for child, have much lower birthrates?

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