Here and there, I’ve noted commentary criticizing the presence of children at politically-oriented protests, rallies, marches, demonstrations, and so forth. The complaint seems to be that the children are being used as “props” and ought not be anywhere in the vicinity of…. I’m not sure? Discussions of consequence? Movements toward justice? I suppose it depends on the event. I would not be comfortable seeing my children in an atmosphere of hateful, fear-stoking scapegoating focused on vilification and vitriol. I certainly do bring my children to an array of civics- oriented, peacable gatherings.
Concerning the place of children from an indigenous perspective – in traditional days, tribal council meetings were expected to include the presence of children and babies, as a way for everyone to keep their priorities and decisions aligned with the truly consequential. Those voices are essential to the cultivation of selflessness and humility. When deciding on a course of action, and what the underlying intentions are, and who are the ultimate beneficiaries, one can envision how the sound of a baby’s cry could be crucial to assuring an honest appraisal. Knowing that mothers and children are listening could temper the urge toward vulgar displays of power, and reorient the group to a baseline awareness of what is actually on the line.
Only when the most vulnerable are not ignored, can anyone else expect lives of peace and possibility It’s meant to be intense.