All Sons and Daughters


Photo used with permission from Tori McCord.

Freshmen Noah Smith and Rachel Sloan enjoy their time in Acting 1 Drama as they smile at the camera. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, and kindness in your smile.” (Mother Teresa)

Rachel McCord, Staff Writer

It is his first day of kindergarten, and he proudly boards the school bus like it is Air Force One. She has lost her first tooth and holds it up to her parents eagerly, praying that the tooth fairy will be generous. The gap in her teeth displays the innocence that embodies her very essence, and they cannot help but think how beautiful she is.

Few of us have had children of our own at this point in our lives, and are therefore unable to understand the capacity of a mother’s or father’s protectiveness and love for their child. However, most can at least relate to this: the beauty of childhood innocence and the love for the helpless. We see a crying child that has fallen, and long for nothing more than to pick them up and hug them with every ounce of affection within us. Then we arrive at school, on social media or at the grocery store. We return to everyday life.

As I begin to think of the way we treat others, there is a notable difference. I understand that we are not going to treat our peers and other teens like we would treat a five-year-old, but I think that, too often, we forget that within each person is a small child. The same beauty that streams from a second grader spelling bee champion is present in a girl who is always depressed. Every “boy with a past” was once Spider-Man, spinning invisible webs onto the kitchen walls or a sumo wrestler, pinning the couch.


What if the boy, who is an outcast, or the girl who is always talked about, were our sons or daughters? What if we were the ones they came home to? What if we saw the pain in their eyes, the scars on their wrists, the bones of their ribs and the tears on their pillows? What if one day, they came home beaming with a sticker on their chest, Super-Man lunchbox in hand and the next they are contemplating suicide?

When did they cease being a beautiful, precious child and evolve into “that weird guy” or “that quiet girl”? When did our identities change from treasured and loved to worthless and hated? Does time slowly steal our worth? Does life have that ability? I do not think it does.

I believe that within every cutter, every misfit, every outcast, every anorexic is a beautiful child. What if we stopped seeing people as society has labeled them? What if girls were no longer “so and so’s ex” or “the easy one”? What if guys were not “the one who drank a little too much last night” or “the gay one”? What if, as we walked down the halls of our school and the paths of our lives, we ignored the stereotypes and pasts of people and began to see them as another little girl, twirling in her Sleeping Beauty dress and tiara, or another little boy, off on his first safari mission, or even a tiny infant who has just made their way into the world?

When we rate people by their accomplishments and failures, by their looks and grades, we begin to put a higher value on some while treating others like trash because we never take time to get to know them.

This is not how parents see their children. They do not love them any less because they got arrested or any more because they were valedictorian of their class. I think that, too often, we believe that the things that people have been through or have done change their value and that time and trials steal their worth. This simply is not true. I once heard my pastor, Jentezen Franklin, give a perfect demonstration of this truth.

He took a twenty dollar bill out of his pocket, and stated the well-known fact that it was worth twenty dollars. He then crumbled it up, threw it on the ground and stomped it into the dust. When he picked it up, it was wrinkled and stained with dirt, but it was still worth twenty dollars. Twenty dollars spent on drugs is still worth the same amount as twenty dollars spent on college tuition.

Our value is not found in where we have been or what we have done, but simply in who we are. We were created with a purpose. This is something that every loving parent knows and understands. Their child is still that precious infant that they fell in love with when they were first born, no matter how they look, what they believe or what they have done.

I understand that not all of us were blessed with knowing parents who nurtured and cared for us as children, but just as a diamond does not go down in value because someone mistakes it for a rock, every child, every teen, and every adult is precious and valuable, regardless of whether they grew up hearing this or not.

What if people were no longer labels, levels or ranks, but beautiful, valued children? What if we began treating each other like that? After all, we are all sons and daughters.