03 February, 2009

Of thoughts, platitudes and truths

I came across – Platitude of the Day – after actually having heard Thought for the Day on the Today Programme this morning. (I defect regularly to Terry Wogan or Radio 5 Live when Today gets too earnest or some politician is demanding, again, ‘to make something perfectly clear’.)

I’ll be a frequent visitor to PotD but, on this occasion, I’d challenge the assessment of its jury. Some exposition in the ‘Thought’ could be described as platitudinous; the same could be said of most broadcasts – and blogs. However, Anne Atkins’ core message, that love and care for children is infinitely more important than possessions, hit home because it has the merit of being true.

A loved, well-fed baby held safely in its mother’s or father’s arms doesn’t care whether it is looking up at a rusting corrugated ceiling or a chandelier. It has, for the time being, all it needs. Among the imperatives of parenting – and there are so many – this is one on which we should never give up.

Many ‘yes buts’ come readily to mind, not least those relating to fairness and society’s priorities for children. There are other important truths; but they don't negate the prime importance of the one expressed by Anne Atkins.

Photo: Running through the rain

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