October 22, 2013

Children's Day, October 22, 2013 - Play !

"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."
Friedrich Nietzsche

For children play is the way they learn about the world, themselves and others. Play is their laboratory in which they can experiment with being anywhere, anyone, anytime.
At least that is how it should be ...
“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” 
Kay Redfield Jamison

To some children I know play is hard work as they have to learn how to play, it doesn't come naturally. And as they discover bit by bit the wonder of play, they find themselves and meet the others. I also know children for whom play is a distant dream. It's something that they crave but seldom get a chance to experience. I know children who have been fortunate to be able to play with almost no restraints, who's play is nurtured and protected. I know children who live in fear, forced out their homes, forced to work, being abused and have no place to play outside their minds.
"A child's play" is often use as a way of describing something that is easy, simple, trivial.
To me nothing could be further off reality. Child's play is complex in both it's construction and effects on the development, child's play is most important for the development of imagination and social, emotional, language and thinking skills.

“Play is the work of the child.”
Maria Montessori

Teachers, scientists, philosophers, psychologists, psychiatrists, authors from the earliest times have argued the importance of play for both children and adults.
When we grow up we chose to forget about play. We dismiss it and get caught in our serious business. We have no time to play and we rush our children along.

"We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
George Bernard Shaw
 Around the world there are people dedicated to bringing love, joy, laughter, escapism to children and adults who find themselves in difficult situations and would not have otherwise access to such wonder, through play.

The Flying Seagull Project is an example of dedicated individuals who donate their time and talents to create opportunities for children and adults alike to play with all the resulting benefits.

Their actions are based on these beliefs:

We believe everyone has the right to laugh and enjoy their life, 
no matter their financial, physical, pychological or societal situation.
We believe every child should have the right to play freely without risk or threat.

We believe play, creativity and laughter is essential to a child’s development 
and therefore to the community as a whole.
We believe that energy and positivity are contagious 
and intend to spread them as far and wide as possible.
We believe that everyone, everywhere is entitled to communicate and to be heard in whatever way is possible, and we hope to give people voices wherever we go.

We believe that the purpose of learning something is so that you can offer to share it with someone else, somewhere else, sometime else.

We believe that a stranger is a member of the family you just haven’t met yet.

We believe the first point of contact with anyone should be a smile.

We believe in FUN as a philosophy.

We believe in you!

You can visit their website and find out about their work and ways to help.

If you know about other such projects you can leave a comment and we will add them to this post.

October 16, 2013

Human Rights - Blog Action Day, 2013

On this day we decided to be part of Blog Action Day 
On short is an attempt to get people together in talking about an issue and this year the focus is on human rights, in the hope of widening the conversation and gather ideas and stir up action.

The Universal Declaration has 30 articles that list as many rights. Each of us has every one of them, no exceptions, equally, no expiration date.

Human rights are inalienable.

No one can ever lose their human rights, they are not transferable nor can they be repudiated.
They cannot be taken away or given away.

Human rights are indivisible.

There is not one more important than other.
To be able to live, be free, and be safe all the other rights must be upheld.
Therefor no violation of human rights is more or less important. It's not the severity of the violation or where it occurs that is bad but just the fact it does.

Human rights are interdependent.

If one right is not respected then all the others are affected.
And as many have said it before if one of us is denied their rights then all of us lose them.

Responsibility and respect are our rights - we should exercise them more.
When we each talk about human rights, our vision and position are heavily influenced by our life experience and the realities of where we live. Living in a country that is known as stable (from political, economical, social points of view) do not assure us ours rights being respected.
In many instances the talk about human rights is containing only the concern for freedom of speech and equality/civil rights while education, health, family, work are treated separately
and mostly outside the human rights framework.
Living with dignity, free from fear is what every person should be able to do.
It cannot be achieved unless the human rights are upheld for all, in any time and circumstances.

"Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or sovereign. ... 
You must weep that your own government, at present, seems blind to this truth."
Mother Teresa