Childhood is A Great Opportunity (Archived)

In the middle of March 1998, the most famous pediatrician in the world, Dr. B. Spock, passed away at the age of 94.


Dr. Spock gained his fame after writing his reference book more than 50 years ago “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care”, which sold more than 50 million copies around the world and was translated into 42 languages.


“This book is the best-selling book in history,” said the publisher.


The first edition of the book was published in 1946 after World War 2, and a lot of Western people give this book credit as it was published at a time when they were in urgent need of someone to show them ways to take care of newborns and raise children and take care of them physically, mentally and psychologically.


The relationship between Dr. Spock and millions of parents consolidated when a child cried in the middle of the night and parents didn’t know what to do, and then resort to Dr. Spock’s book to find a logical explanation and scientific instructions, making his words more valuable than anything said.


Days go by, and Dr. Spock’s words and the events of that one night become part of that family’s history and memories of childhood.


Dr. Spock wasn’t only a famous pediatrician, effective teacher and influential author, but he became well-known in the mid 60’s when he started a strong campaign against the development of nuclear weapons, and participated in many riots, and even was arrested in one of these riots. His philosophy was “What is the use of raising children and taking care of them if you were to burn them alive?” He realized the consequences of developing nuclear weapons and wars on humanity in general and on children in particular, and that is how he linked pediatrics to politics.


Dr. Spock stayed active as a pediatrician and participated in medical conferences, held seminars, wrote books, magazines and articles and taught parents at the age of 90.


We are in urgent need of an Arab Muslim Dr. Spock who can give parents a reference that shows the proper ways of dealing with infants and raising children through different childhood stages on physical, mental and psychological levels, and give solutions that are consistent with the teachings of our religion and compatible with our environment.


Children in our society suffer from their parents’ lack of knowledge in the proper effective way to raise children to become healthy, smart and balanced.


And our children are an open book to us, with their signals and expressions being its letters, and our sayings being its words and our actions being its sentences. Whatever is written in that book does not get erased, and one day the book will be taken away from us to go back to its owner and keep what has been written forever. Childhood is a great opportunity; it is our window to the future, whatever passes it does not come back, and whatever part of it closes cannot be opened. What we sow today, we will reap tomorrow whether we like it or not… And we hope to sow properly.



OKAZ Newspaper – Tuesday 26 Thu Al-Kedah 1418 AH falling on 24 March 1998 AD