The values quoted in today´s world have a lot do with success and rules of a competitive society. At the same time, we are also sensitive about freedom, justice, solidarity, etc. But in the surveys about values, innocence doesn´t usually appear. It sounds as an ideal that is impossible or childish in our “adult”, self sufficient, almost corrupt society. However, the innocence symbolized by children, reflects the truth that the world will have to be.
In this sense, a child is always a reminder of a world lost or perhaps, of a world where God dreams or of a world to come. A Child is a treasure. Societies who control the birth-rate (let us think, for example, in the Chinese politics on “one child”) are preparing their own cemetery because they renounce the best of “the reserve of humanity” that we have. Rabindranath Tagore said that each time a child is born, we realize that God has not forgotten our world. A world without children is too adult and does not know from where it comes and where it is going.
But Claret points out that the child can preserve or lose its innocence according to the education it receives. It is a call for responsibility. Jesus strongly condemns those who pervert the innocence of a child, “If any of you should cause one of these little ones, who stumble and fall, it would be better for you to be thrown into the depths of the sea with a great millstone around your neck” (Mt 18:6). Perversion is not reduced to “the sexual abuse of minors”, that has damaged a lot and continues to do so in our time. Perhaps, there is another more delicate and damaging perversion that is, stealing the child´s innocence from which he places his confidence in God as Father and wants to live his life as a son who is worthy, free, safe and happy. A good education should help the child to consolidate and develop this experience.