Today is International Children’s Day. I’m thinking of all the children around the world who need to be loved and respected for who they are.
I’m thinking of Janusz Korczak, a Polish-Jewish writer, educator, and advocate for child rights. He was a principal of a children’s home in Warsaw. After Germany occupied Poland he stayed with the children in the Warsaw Ghetto even though he had an opportunity to flee. He chose to stay with the children and died in a Nazi concentration camp giving them the comfort of his love and presence to the end.
The way he spoke about children is something we can appreciate today but nearly a century ago it was considered new and novel:
“Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equals. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be – The unknown person inside each of them is the hope for the future.” Janusz Korczak