Column: Out of the mouths of babes


Commentary by Amy L. Stewart

You have no idea how unusual this is.  When it comes to current culture, I live in the dark ages.  So for me even to know about, let alone to recommend, a YouTube video is astonishing.  But so is this, and you should experience it, if you haven’t already:  This video stars a six-year-old girl, making a poignant request of her parents.  It’s a request that is stunning in its purity, its clarity and its wisdom.  As a family law attorney, it stopped my heart, and it is sure to become a standard for my clients.  But I heard its message as being something larger.  We all know that messages come from many places and messengers in many forms.  I believe that this little girl is speaking to all of us – to families in conflict, to a city that has witnessed 122 of our neighbors killed so far this year, to citizens in a world filled with too much hatred, fear and violence and too little love and friendship.

Why is it that for so many of us, the process of becoming a grown-up depletes our wisdom, rather than expanding it? Thank goodness for the six-year-olds who still can remind us, “My heart is something. Everyone else’s heart is something, too. And if we live in a world where everyone is being mean, everyone’s going to be a monster in the future.” Thank goodness, also, for their innocent, steadfast faith in us, “If I can be nice, I think all of us can be nice, too.”

I want to offer a special note to this precious little girl’s parents: Whatever it is that you may be going through, I wish you peace. And whatever mistakes that you – like all of us – may have made, may you always be proud of having done the most important job there is:  Raising a child whose own voice is so beautiful and strong and true. Thank you.

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