The true value of a child’s life is not measured by the amount of money they can earn, but by the positive impact they can make on society.
By Umais Mudasir
In a world that often champions women’s empowerment, there is a pressing need to shine a spotlight on another vital cause – “children’s empowerment.” Mufti Menk, a renowned Islamic scholar and speaker from Zimbabwe, once emphasized the significance of acknowledging children’s achievements and demonstrating care for their endeavors. By doing so, he argued, we can foster their confidence, paving the way for their development into self-assured adults. This sentiment bears great relevance in today’s society, rife with the harrowing specters of child labor, abuse, violence, and harassment. Empowering Children
While these issues have long plagued young girls, they are now increasingly affecting boys as well. Tragically, many children find themselves stifled, denied opportunities to express themselves freely before others. The fear of losing respect often shackles their voices, preventing them from gaining the self-assurance necessary for their growth. Even when they muster the courage to speak up, they find themselves abandoned if they stumble, trapped in their struggles without anyone to lift them up. As they remain confined within the walls of their homes, their imaginative capacities dwindle, restricted by parents’ narrow visions imposed since an early age. The lack of exposure to diverse experiences inhibits their potential, hindering their ability to make a lasting impact on society in the future.
In an alarmingly materialistic society, the pursuit of financial gain has clouded the true essence of parental responsibility. Far too many parents prioritize their children’s economic success, forcefully nudging them away from education and toward profit-seeking endeavors. As a result, basic education and the moral values that underpin a meaningful life often fall by the wayside. The adverse consequences of such an outlook are glaring – a generation growing up believing that money is the ultimate measure of worth, neglecting the values of empathy, self-discipline, and altruism.
The fundamental purpose of a child’s life should not be to impress others but to express themselves authentically. Yet, across various corners of the world, child labor continues to thrive, ensnaring youngsters as young as four years old in grueling work. These innocent souls harbor dreams and aspirations, but their aspirations often meet a tragic end in the face of a society driven by unbridled greed. Additionally, some societies perceive education as a hindrance to marriage prospects, fostering an environment where children are subjected to ridicule and harassment for seeking knowledge. This hostile environment culminates in mental distress, forcing many children to abandon their pursuit of education.
We must confront these reprehensible ideologies and empower children to break free from the shackles that restrain their voices and potential. Silencing the voices of the young and confining them to the solitude of four walls is an affront to humanity itself. Children must be given the space and support to express themselves and share their experiences freely. Only then can they truly thrive and contribute to a brighter future for all.
The essence of children’s empowerment lies in prioritizing their education, emotional well-being, and personal growth over material gains. By investing in their development, we invest in the future of society. It is high time we recognize that nurturing confident, compassionate, and capable children is pivotal in building a harmonious world. Let us unite in our efforts to empower children, giving them the tools and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. In doing so, we sow the seeds for a better future where children can blossom into remarkable individuals and transformative agents of change.
“Childhood should be a time of growth, exploration, and imagination, not labor and exploitation.”
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of this newspaper. The author can be reached at [email protected]