This I Believe

Deidra - Columbiba, Maryland
Entered on February 13, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: children

I believe that children are the most powerful people on earth.

For me, “power” is the ability to influence people, decisions, or events to your benefit. I have yet to meet a child who did not possess this ability.

Growing up, I never fully understood the power that I possessed. In fact, I thought that I was “powerless” in many circumstances. If I knew then, all that I know now, I would have been a force to reckon with! However, now that I am a parent, an aunt, a God-mother, and someone who genuinely cares about the well-being of all children, I realize the power that kids have over me and other adults in their lives.

For example, my sons have an innate ability to make their grandparents do things that, as a mother, I would never allow. I’m quick to point out these flaws and moments of insanity to the guilty parties; however, the general response is “Oh, it was nothing. Besides, it what grandparents do”. No, it isn’t! It is an example of a 4 year-old and a 9 year-old exercising their power.

Unfortunately, I must admit that I am not much better. Sure, my boys use their power over me as well, but my moments of temporary insanity are far less frequent than their grandparents’.

Once, after a day filled with disagreements and bickering, I overheard my oldest son tell his brother “Don’t worry, I’ll always look out for you”. I nearly cried! At that moment, my son could have asked for just about anything, and I would have given it to him! Is this insanity? No. It is the power of a child.

The bad part about this is that people children don’t even know can fall under the influence. This is my biggest weakness. On many occasions, I find myself contributing to charities because of the mere picture of a child the organization’s insert. Moreover, I have to exercise self-control whenever I see a homeless person with a child. I have given so much money to this group that I could fund my own charitable organization! Some people view me as being gullible. I maintain that I simply succumbed to the power of a child.

As I mentioned, I’d like to think that I would have been a “force” if I had known how to exercise this power better as a child. The fact is that it wouldn’t have had the same affect if my motivation had been selfish or manipulative.

You see, overall the power that children hold over all of us makes us feel good. While we may claim moments of temporary insanity, ignorance, or maybe guilt, the truth is that in their innocence, children remind us that there is hope. Hope for them; hope for us; and hope for the world. They make us step outside of our selfish and tainted perspective on life, and for a moment, we see and experience the goodness that comes with a simple act of kindness to someone who isn’t looking for anything in return.