My mom and I frequently talk about random things that happen in our workplace. When I was a kid, she had always told me stories about children who have no family nor a place they could call home, stories about abused children and those who were abandoned. She also used to bring me with her whenever she accompanies these children to their "Haven" or " New Home". Yes, my mother is a social worker and this is one of the reasons why there is a soft spot in my heart for less fortunate children.
One ordinary day, on our way to our workplace, she told a not-so-new-to-me-story about the "new girl" in their "Home". She's eleven years old and a known thief in their place. (I will not divulge any other information about her other than the story that relates to the title of this post.) Let's call her Judy.
Judy has a father, as she claimed, but she chose to live outside the four corners of their house. She steals foods to pacify her grumbling stomach and she sleeps on the cold, dry and dangerous street. She considers the whole world as her home. During her conversation with my mom, she related the story on how she ended up under DSWD's care.
"Nagnakaw po kasi kami dun sa malaking bahay, kumuha po kami ng mga alahas at pera..."
My mother asked how they did that. For a little girl like Judy, it is somehow unbelievable how she was able to do such act. Judy answered as if there's nothing wrong with what they've done. She enthusiastically shared between her giggles with her eyes brimming with innocence, "Ay, meron po kaming martilyo, apukpok po namin yung pader. Atagal nga po kami apukpok e! Tapos nung butas na po yung pader, suot po kami dun! Kaya lang nakita po kami, atakbo po kami! Tapos yung kasama ko po nahuli, ako po hindi, kasi atulin ako takbo e!"
Judy further relates that she steals because she's hungry. "Nakukulo po kasi yung tiyan ko ih. Kelangan ko po kumain para mabuhay..."
Notice how childish her words are. She's still a kid yet she's forced to do bad things in order to survive. She didn't mind if what she did was right or wrong as long as she has something to put in her aching stomach. Life for her was like, 'If I won't steal, I'd die.'
In the eyes of this child, there's no right or wrong; only survival.
There are many other Judys out there, battling the harsh world on their own. Who do we blame?
Children like Judy are products of broken homes. It is always in our home where everything starts. Who and what they become is mostly influence of how they were molded by people who are around them while growing up. So, if you don't like to create another Judy, start it with your own family. Be a good example and instill in your children's minds and hearts the importance of a family that stays together---through thick and thin.
Children are like sponges thrust into the ocean. They absorb whatever's around them and carry it with them as long as they live.