The phrase “I would die for my children” is something all parents have said. We love our children with such unconditional dedication that we know without question that we would sacrifice our own lives to save theirs. While this choice seems obvious when faced with an unthinkable tragic event it seems less so when we’re talking about vulnerability. No less threatening to our children’s future we seem to allow the growing threat to loom in the corner without much concern and without any action.
Last month the families of Canada suffered a loss that many don’t yet understand. Dr. Clyde Hertzman dedicated most of his professional life to fighting for our children. Through his remarkable work with the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) and the Early Development Instrument (EDI) he provided our country with an unprecedented level of insight into the fate of our children. He was recognised by the international community for this incredible work, participated in the children’s rights work at the United Nations and will soon receive the Order of Canada in recognition of his exceptional contributions to early childhood development. Those who knew him and his level of dedication to our children understand all too deeply what the passing of this great man means. http://gensqueeze.tumblr.com/post/42912361008/the-gen-squeeze-campaign-remembers-dr-clyde-hertzman
As I contemplate his life, reflect on his work and look at my own children I am filled with a sense of profound appreciation for what he accomplished. He fought tirelessly to change the story for millions of children in British Columbia, Canada and the world. Right up until his death in January of 2013 he relentlessly brought to light the political and social conditions which allow childhood vulnerability to grow. I had the immense pleasure of hearing him speak at the University of British Columbia back in the fall of 2012 and was moved by his unflappable call to action. He spoke up for the voiceless young children and said “The level of developmental inequality in children is astounding. This, in a rich country like Canada, is inexcusable!”.
To his family and the many colleagues he inspired around the world I say ‘I heard him and I will honour his fight with my own’. To those who are reading this blog I say – you would die for your children but will you live for them?