Thursday, January 26, 2012

Broken Bridges

I was struck by this picture from Yahoo! Snapshots of the Week. These little girls are literally risking their lives to go to school, while our kids are jumping at the chance to stay home. Wishing for a snow day. Faking sickness. Or complaining about the amount of homework, the shortness of a holiday, or the unfairness of a teacher. Whatever happened to the value of education? It's still there, though it seems forgotten or lost on our youth.

I have been a Sunday School teacher since 1999. It was only in these past handful of years that I have experience kids ditching Sunday School. Instead, they are roaming the church grounds, playing on their own. The biggest issue is safety. Ironic, isn't it? The Indonesian students on the bridge are risking their safety to get education. Our kids are risking their safety to get away from education.

On one incident, a teacher and a parent found the kids about to cross the street to play. The teacher didn't know where they were. The parents were told by the kids they were going to Sunday School.

The teachers don't have the time to run after those kids and get them to class. And trust me, it literally takes running after them because when they see a teacher they run away mockingly laughing, expecting us to go for the chase. Meanwhile other kids are gathering and waiting for their teacher by themselves, sometimes also running around the room with each other. It was a hard choice, but I told my teachers to stop running after the kids running away from them. These kids are elementary age and know right from wrong. They know where they're supposed to be and know the lies they told their parents.

Times like these make me wonder. Are we doing something wrong? What else can we do to get these church going kids to class? But then we'll get feedback from the other kids and parents that we're on the right track. Academic and spiritual education seems to be so unpopular in the western world. Is it that idea of not knowing what you have until you lose it? Basically we don't know the value of what we have, especially if we get them for free. Not until it's too late.

But those kids on the bridge aren't waiting for too late. Their school may be far away and the bridge to get there broken, but they're going to cross it anyway. It's dangerous. It's life-threatening. It's hard. It's tiring. But they'll do it anyway.

How about us? Are we willing to cross our broken bridges?

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