It was a pre-Christmas treat to go and watch the 1946 film ‘A matter of life and death’ which got us doing some pre-Christmas thinking. In the film David Niven plays a Second World War airman ‘Peter’ who is supposed to be dead and therefore to arrive in heaven. However he has fallen in love with June and is unwilling to take up his place. A heavenly legal debate ensues and Peter is allowed to choose someone to defend him. He has at his disposal all the great thinkers and debaters from history to choose from; it’s a difficult decision. Finally he chooses a local doctor who has recently cared for him. He hasn’t known this doctor, Frank Reeves, for long but Frank has shown Peter care and understanding. He has also been supportive towards June.
Walking home from the cinema we debated who we would choose to defend us and speak up for us. Would it be a great historical figure or would it be someone who knows us well and cares about us and those people who are important to us? And in turn what if we were asked to speak up and defend those who were relying on us; would we be up to it? Naturally this got us thinking about young children and those who speak up for them. There have always been famous people in history who have spoken up for children, for example Thomas Barnardo or Susan Isaacs. In addition, there have always been many unsung heroes who have made a difference to children’s lives. This new year we would like to toast all those who speak up for children in their daily work with them; we would also like to encourage all to raise their voices even more, so that it is heard above the deafening initiatives and opinions that do not always have children’s best interests at heart and so impact negatively on children and their lives here in the UK.
Further afield, everyday media reports reveal the terrible situation that many of the world’s children are living in. This can make us feel helpless in terms of any difference we can make and lead to compassion and empathy overload. When this happens our voices can become quieter and we might just think ‘what’s the point?’
In this time of making New Year’s resolutions, let’s resolve to speak up more for children when we notice things that just aren’t right. There are always small things we can say and do in our everyday life to make a difference for children. It might be signing a petition, challenging practice within our workplace or supporting children in speaking up for themselves. How are you going to speak up for children in 2018? We’d love to hear – let us know in the comments box below.