By Amber K Wilks
December 11, 2013

I have seen so many children, tossed aside, emotionally and physically neglected. The listless wandering in their eyes, bodies balanced precariously on unstable ground, hearts lost in a cold vacant world, just looking for warmth and acceptance. The gift would be small and unassuming in size, yet grand and everlasting. As innocent as a passing glance, this gift would often be overlooked by bustling brokers of the dysfunctional factual calibrated societal players. An irreplaceable momentary slip through the cracks of the degradation, dust, and dishevelment these glorious little miracles are growing-up in.

I too desired that gift as a child. I was regarded as a wee bit of gum on societies shoe; I searched many a day and night for this illustrious gift. I looked through window panes, peeked around darkened corners, and dug through the muck and the grime of the gutters. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, than year upon year I searched until I reached the moment of absolute collapse and surrender.

Absolutely, irrevocably I was defeated. I was emotionally and physically battered and bruised. I lay down in my final act of letting go of all that I had been trying to fill myself with. Just then, as if looking up for the first time, I noticed the beauty that danced above my glance for so long. My heart began to warm and a stream of salty sweet tears drifted freely down my tattered cheek.

How could it be so simple, I wondered. Full of gratitude and amazement, overwhelmed with emotion, my body grew limp. I collapsed onto the ground, curling into the fetal position; I sobbed an uncontrollable expression of relief and contentment. My body was washed over with the feeling of complete acceptance. I found what I was looking for.

All children deserve to know that they are loved and cared for.

I believe that when a child is born they represent unlimited potential; that only they hold the keys to their futures and it is our job to guide them, for they hold the key to all of our futures. When I look into a child’s eyes, I see everything that they can accomplish. How they can turn all of the pain and suffering into something beautiful. Their experiences, light or dark, hold the answers to the universe’s mysteries.

I want to give all children an ever burning light of wonder, discovery, and expression. This, you can see burning in the young and the old, regardless of station in life; if you have it, it will always shine through. Some call it a sparkle, others a glimmer, and yet still more describe it as radiating. Whatever you want to call it, whenever a child looks to you, I wish you my gift – the ability to see the radiance shining through even the most horrible of circumstances.