WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, I was often told that "children should be seen and not heard." The view of children back then was that they were, and should be, essentially passive. They weren't expected to make a serious contribution to a conversation or to the world.
This view is quite different from that in Mary Baker Eddy's spiritual insight into the essence of our God-given childlike nature in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She called children "the spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love." Science and Health, p. 582. Far from being passive, such representatives would be a powerful force for good in the world, and there's increasing evidence of that view in the world today. In the years since Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science, the role of children has changed significantly, and the world seems in some ways readier to understand and to value their purity and spirituality.
This was evident in accounts of children who survived last December's tsunami in South Asia, and in those about young people who responded with fund-raising efforts on their behalf. From schoolchildren in Hawaii to those in lowa, West Virginia, and elsewhere around the world, there was anything but passivity. Their hearts reached out to their fellow children halfway around the world, and they raised thousands of dollars. Behind those efforts is powerful idea—that children can touch people around the globe with their love and make a difference right now.