I don’t know when I lost it,
This innocence once held within,
But when I look around the world today,
I see it with different eyes.
I see it with the eyes,
Of someone who has lost.
I see it with the eyes,
Of someone who has loved nevertheless.
I see the frailties,
In every being.
I see the fear,
Turned into hate.
I look into a child’s eyes,
And while fear initially strikes within,
It soon melts away into a passionate caution.
I see hope and possibilities,
I see sparkling futures,
With a world all their own.
I wonder what a child sees,
When they look at the world today.
Do they see endless opportunities?
Or do they simply see dead-ends,
A world who’s spirit is broken beyond repair?
Will they climb the highest mountains,
Looking down to see a world they can change?
Or will they see only remains,
Of a world that cannot forgive,
And is too ready to forget.
This world can change people,
It can chew them up,
And destroy the innocent personalities
We so love in our youth.
Children will be our salvation,
This I Believe,
If we cherish their youthful ways.
If they live in a world,
Built upon love,
If we show them that festering hatred
Tears down all means of relief.
If we show them their strength,
And how much they can change,
I believe they can save us,
They will do what we cannot.
We can show them,
The opportunities they possess,
If we stubbornly persist in opening their eyes
To other possibilities.
I despair when I think,
That there are people who still,
Encourage their children,
To swallow their fear.
My hope falters slightly each time,
A child is told to suppress their questions,
And their want for knowledge.
Instead they are taught to embrace
The hate that has always been,
Because they believe it will always be.
But our youth need to know,
That this is not the way,
They need to explore their fear,
And that which fuels it.
They need to question the way we live today,
And change it to be something from which we all can prosper.
It doesn’t always have to be this way,
With ever-present war and hate.
Perhaps we simply focus on everything wrong,
Rather than that which is right.
Children do just the opposite.
Children haven’t yet been taught,
That at any moment the world could end,
They don’t yet fear that no one takes a single voice seriously,
So they don’t fear speaking out,
Or the possibility of failure.
It is only after we teach them these things,
That they begin to lose hope,
And with their hope,
So goes our chance for a better future.
So children will save us,
This I Strongly Believe.
A child’s innocence,
Is our greatest chance,
Of changing a future,
I refuse to believe is beyond return.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.