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From now until New Year's we'll be inundated with year-end round-ups, including the death toll of children murdered in 2011. That list will raise anew such vexing questions as what to say, really, to the 16-year-old who lives fast, fully expecting to die young; or about the six-year old who doesn't know his ABCs, but can recite the ingredients to make a meth lab?
What to do about the children in Kentucky who don't believe in God or Santa Claus because good things never seem to happen to them?
I've written extensively about such children over 30 years, and in my experience, this time of year is the cruelest of all because they are constantly reminded of the love they're not getting and the material things they don't have.
It's frustrating not having all the answers, but listening to "The Greatest Love of All," I feel rejuvenated for the struggle. That song, inspired by the life of Muhammad Ali, still packs a powerful punch, especially the lines: I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be.
I believe that I can do that and that more of us can do that, if we but would, to help save our babies.