Children have a lot to teach us, minister tells Scottish Parliament
Published on 12 September 2023 2 minutes read
Adults have a lot to learn from children and their positive attitude to life, a minister has told the Scottish Parliament.
Rev Barry Hughes said many of them embrace new opportunities with excitement and enthusiasm while older people can sometimes be "tainted with cynicism".
The minister of St Mark's Parish Church in Raploch, Stirling told MSPs that Jesus Christ "knew this better than anyone".
Mr Hughes delivered Time for Reflection in the debating chamber this afternoon, which heralds the start of the business week.
He recently returned from a three-week trip to South Korea where he took part in the 25th World Scout Jamboree along with 35 young people from across central Scotland.
Although the event was partially marred by a heatwave, unsanitary conditions and an evacuation owing to a typhoon threat, the minister, assistant group leader of 1st Raploch Scout Group, said he was very proud of how the young people adapted to the circumstances.
Embrace new opportunities
Mr Hughes' full address to the Scottish Parliament.
"Presiding Officer, later today I head off to Loch Venachar, just outside Callander, to join the Raploch Primary P7 class for the rest of this week for their outdoor residential week.
It is one of the greatest privileges of my role as parish minister in The Raploch that I am able to work with the local schools, the teachers, the staff and of course the children themselves.
I know that during this coming week we will see the children work together, grow in confidence, learn new skills and face challenges which will be new to them.
And they will emerge from the week stronger as individuals and as a class.
And we as adults in Scotland can do well to learn from our children.
Children are not encumbered by the things which can often hold us back as adults – children embrace new opportunities with excitement and enthusiasm when our approach can sometimes be tainted with cynicism.
Jesus Christ knew this better than anyone – this is why he said in Mark's Gospel ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these'.
And he went on to add that all of us need to become like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Within our community of Raploch, children are offered wonderful opportunities, not just by local schools but by organisations such as Scouts and The Big Noise, with which many of you will be familiar.
But I'm also all too aware that there are many children, not just in Raploch but across Scotland, whose opportunities are limited by social and other factors.
We owe it to all the children of Scotland, whatever their background, to ensure equality of opportunity for them all.
In the summer, I was privileged to be able to attend the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea along with 35 Scouts from central Scotland - we were known as the Kilted Kelpies - and 45,000 other Scouts from around the world.
As you may have read in the news during July and August, we faced a few wee challenges whilst we were in Korea but we were so proud of all the young people who attended from Scotland for the resilience, the adaptability and the positivity which they showed, throughout these challenges and for the attitude they showed, which was always a can-do attitude.
Presiding Officer, as I pray for God's blessing on you and all in this place, I do so, remembering Jesus' words: ‘When you welcome children in my name, you welcome me also'.