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from Every Child a Teacher

... Ari, a friend at Columbia University, writes:

To my mind, divorce is a deplorable breach of contract, and I say without humor that children should be allowed to sue. Consider the facts: Two people agree to create a human being and promise to give it love, a home, security, and happiness. They take this step with the best of intentions, to be sure, but then something goes awry. They find they really hate each other or for some other reason cannot live together. But in separating, they put themselves first and forget about the contract they have with their child. I do not believe, as you often hear soon-to-be-divorced parents say, that the separation will be "best for the child." My experience has taught me better.

But didn't my parents spare me an unhappy home where fighting and angry confrontations were the mode of communication? I believe not. I believe that they - as incompatible as they were and remain today - could have learned to stop shouting or slamming doors. At least they could have learned all that more easily than I learned to be a child of divorce.

With divorce so common these days, mine is not a popular position. Some - usually divorced people with children - accuse me of being selfish. But it's not just me. Someday they will hear it from their own children. A lost childhood cannot be recaptured.

Harsh as it seems, Ari's proposal is mild compared to what Jesus suggests for those who rob children of their childhood: "If anyone causes one of these to stumble, it would be better for him to be weighted with a millstone and cast into the sea." ...


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(last edited November 25, 2002 by Kishore Balakrishnan. Contact for feedback and suggestions) [info] [diff] [full] EditText of this page

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