Today at midnight, on the borderline of two years we deserve another moment of recollection, just for ourselves. Recalling more significant deeds and events of the year let us weigh them with eternal values. And planning future, let us have courage to strive for better and look farther ahead in order to open up new horizons.
This is what we have momentum for and hopefully also intent. A recent opinion poll has revealed that the vast majority of the population of Estonia was satisfied with the year 2005. It remains to wish that this satisfaction would encompass several years and all people.
However, start-off acceleration and strong will are not enough to aspire to high goals. Also wisdom and good encouraging co-travellers are necessary. But, first and foremost, family care and love as well as support of each others’ aspirations and creativity.
This is how children will get a feeling of security and spiritual strength for today and tomorrow, not through affluence. Without this they would not have sympathy, a desire to develop and create, to love their future spouse and children. We can say that we are creating our children’s future each and every moment, with each and every word and deed.
Many years ago my father told me : “My son, don’t ever fight on a village street, men won’t !” I took his words word for word. It was years later that I realised that my father had not meant boys’ wrangling. Life has confirmed his lesson: soft fire makes sweet malt.
A recent study in Estonian schools has demonstrated that students’ evaluations are guided primarily by positive values. The young rank friends, family and friends the highest.
Unfortunately, for the majority of respondents patriotic values are insignificant ? patriotism, national culture, respect for ancestors and traditions. This is an indication of a trend in the societal values, not only in the young people’s values.
For children fatherland is primarily associated with familiar people and things, like home and native country’s nature. Children understand and love their fatherland probably in terms of home, its spirituality and mum’s and dad’s interpretations. Thus, tremendous responsibility lies with parents but also schools should be more effectively involved in patriotic upbringing.
The study does not cover as respondents pupils who do not attend school. However, there are thousands of such children in the basic school age group alone. Many dropouts remain without education. This is highly tragic not only for these young people but for the entire society.
The spread of alcohol and drugs among the young is a major concern. Indifference to such cases is taking over. In case of children’ problems this is unforgivable. If the family cannot support such a child, the state, local government and school should.
Naturally, children would like to be loved, first and foremost, by their own family, a family having both mother and father. Mother radiates tenderness and father tells the difference between the good and the bad. Just like a young man put it : “Mother helps you to cope with life but father is more like a role model with his deeds, not just words.”
Children’s observations indicate also what is missing most and not that much tangible things. It is the warmth, love, consideration and support in the family, which are worth significantly more than money or an expensive car, wrote a child.
The family, with both the mother and father to support the child, is one of the society’s lasting basic values. However, parents’ lightly-taken separation decisions and public accentuation of a pleasure-seeking way of life seem to have become nearly a standard. This delivers painful experience for the child. But this undermines also the society and insults dignified people who respect diligence and general knowledge, bringing up their children in the spirit of such values.
Dear fellow countrymen !
I am talking about children as ignoring their development we will endanger both their future and our nation’s prosperity.
Unfortunately, not every child has a family capable of support. Therefore we need solidarity in the society. Talking about Europe, we take it for granted but in our own small state we sometimes tend to forget it. Fortunately, Estonia’s economy as well as personal welfare has grown fast enough to allow more generous spending on the education and health of the children.
A breakthrough in the attitude vis-à-vis the family and upbringing of children contributes to a positive shift in demographic processes. If bringing up of a good person and citizen were considered as a super important accomplishment, we would have more joy of our children.
The state can express its attitude in several different ways, e.g. in terms of childbirth allowance combined with parent’s salary and large family allowance. Currently childless or one-child families are doing best in Estonia. Their living standard is several times higher compared to families with several children, although parents’ workload is manifold.
For many mothers the overall safety of the society is the most significant issue, i.e. what is lying ahead for children.
Dear people !
Let us start the New Year with future-oriented thoughts. And let’s each and every one of us do something so that we should not be worried about the future of our people.
I would like to encourage you to set high but human goals. Creating new values, let us treasure the old ones. Let us combine the knowledge and experience of several generations with persistent work on behalf of the future. Not even the tiniest person can be overlooked in this work.
My wish is that in the upcoming year we were more caring towards each child. This would allow us to look into the future not only with hope but also with confidence.
A Happy New Year to all of you !