When Cute Little Children Grow Up, 18×24″ oil on panel, framed by the artist.
When Cute Little Children Grow Up depicts a fun loving child of God. I wasn’t able to catch her name while visiting a school outside Port au Prince in Haiti. But her playful soul came to life when she saw my camera and began posing for me, stealing the show for a moment from the cute little children, practicing their grammar. The irony, in this context, really struck me.
When Cute Little Children Grow Up asks the very difficult question very few people tend to ask. Every day we are bombarded with cute children and furry animals, who pull at our heartstrings. They are the ones on the posters and commercials. We are asked to contribute to one worthy cause after another, to give the children a fighting chance at a happy life. Unborn babies have more of a right to life than abused children from Mexico. Abused children from Mexico have more of a right to happiness than “thugs” fighting oppression in our own communities. It all depends on one’s perspective as to who is more or less deserving.
When Cute Little Children Grow Up something seems to happen. So many adults simply disappear from our view, as if to say we have only one chance to make our case for success and happiness, when we are young and cute.
This attitude pervades every aspect of our lives. We tend to rally around potentiality. Our society has an obsession with youth, beauty and anything new, which is fine, except when it isn’t. We’re all about who’s hot and who’s not. I have written extensively about agism, because over time, I have become more aware of the insidious nature of this particular prejudice. “Emerging artists” are rarely over thirty. If you haven’t emerged by then, you have a tough row to ho. Reinvention is riddled with obstacles. I guess I’m glad I got in on the ground floor.
My point is simply that we need to working toward a society where all living things are able to achieve their fullest potential. Until we can learn to love the rabid dog, the disagreeable among us, as much as we love cute puppies and children, then we really won’t know love.