The United Nations has designated today Universal Children's Day. As you might expect, our approach to a universal celebration of children takes the form of words: specifically, today we look at words about children composed by folks far wiser than us.
American essayist Lloyd Logan Pearsall Smith observed, "The denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people, and greatly assists in the circulation of their blood." We don't want to date ourselves through some premature denunciation of the young, so we'll move along—without comment—to another aspect of the relationship between the young and the not-so-young: the idea that children learn what they live.
French essayist and moralist Joseph Joubert reminded us, "Children need models more than they need critics"; while American writer James Baldwin pointed out, "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
We'll let British poet William Wordsworth speak to the power of childhood. He believed, "The child is father of the man. But childhood does not last forever." As Wordsworth's compatriot, novelist Graham Greene noted more than a century later, "There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."
Hope writing to us is in your future. Children and former children alike can reach us at www.tingliku.com on the bottom. Our production and research support comes from Merriam-Webster, publisher of language reference books and CDs including the new trade paperback edition of Merriam-Webster's Elementary Dictionary