What Do You Wish For Today?

November 26, 2015 in education, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

A Family Dinner Guatemala sytleFor Thanksgiving this year, let’s all wish really hard to make life better for at risk children.

As a long-time Volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, I wish for; The implementation  of the recommendations by the Governor’s Task Force on Child Protection and the additional attention and resources necessary to make children safe in my community (and yours too).

Fewer ten and twelve year old children charged as adults in our judicial system,

More attention paid to the coping skills & mental health of children,

A genuine commitment to support child friendly programs, teachers and  education, and understanding that the depth and scope of the problems  at risk youth and schools face today will require more than half efforts.

And let’s put our heart into better solutions for the millions of children in child protection systems, foster, and adoptive homes (wouldn’t it be terrific if kinship adoption were supported more fully?)

& if 80% of youth aging out of foster homes didn’t go on to lead dysfunctional lives?

Politicians would stop using at risk children as political footballs (wish hard for this – it’s really cruel & destructive).

I know it’s improbable, but can you imagine how much better life would be for all of us if we cared as much about children as we say we do?  We could stop leading the industrialized world in sexually transmitted diseases, child poverty, violence, incarceration, & mental health problems.

Schools would graduate more kids, the jails would empty, our streets and communities would be way less violent & much more livable.

An old Jesuit priest told me years ago, that you create what you put your attention to.

Expanding on his thoughts; our community concentrates on punishment, jails, & prisons instead education, health, & at risk children.  There is little difference in tolerating the suffering of children & causing it.

We are getting what we wish for every day as a society.

In the words of Pliny the Elder 2500 years ago, “what we do to our children, they will do to society”.


What do you wish for today?



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