WHITE CARNATION DAY.
Tho . American mail brings particulars of the organisation/ which, tho cables have informed üb, successfully inaugurated Whito Carnation Day/ Of the many striking ideas m the way of celebrations that conic from the land of the Stars and Stripes this certainly, is the happiest— the setting , aside of ofje day m the year as a festival for the adoration of motherhood. 7 The suggestion first came from Miss Anna Jarvis, of Philadelphia, and '; paribus committees that took up the idea decided' that- the second Sunday m ]\£ay should bo observed as Mother's Day. Observance was made last year 111 ri'iany cities, but it was only this year that J;he riiovement grew into full strength; and received general recognition,' and the : fact \that some hundreds of thousands of men -paraded 7 the streets of , v New ; Jerk' and other cities wearing • the chosen emblem of motherhood, tho 7 ' white • carnation, symbol of purity, endurance -and fragrance, gives us a neyr 7 insight into American /character which , cannot ' but compel admiration. A people who have time to turn their, tli oughts, froiri strenu-, ous money-getting to the virtues; and privileges of houic life .arid to 'pay due honor , to tho one who / is, the centre ,of the home, circle cannot but . commapd respect. The promoters of White Carnation Day ; have expressed their • intention to make" the observance, international m character, so that some day possibly young New Zealanders, foine of whom, alas, are '.often' very neglectful of filial responsibilities, may. be touched on the' better side of 7 their •■ nature and induced to 'pay homage where homage is uiidoubtedlyydiie. ' It is • not a verj' difficult- thing' that is asked by the promoters of the festival. They urge tliat eadh indivdual- should set aside -the second Sunday m May to think about "the best mother m the world," that whito carnations be worn or sent to hospitals m memory of mothers, and that ministers of religion be asked to choose appropriate texts. Everyone who is the fortunate possessor "of a living mother is asked and expected to choose that day to visit/ -write, or telephone' her/ and m a general way to show that she is /remembered, respected, and, beloved by her sons and daughters'. "It looks as though these good people," says one American newspaper, commending the movement, "hid lent themselves to a deliberate eons pi racy to make , somebody happy." But remembering the solf-sacrifict-a of mothers • and their influence,, on the lives and, characters of thpiv' children it is surely a good thing fo conspire for .their ; happiriegs-, ,. .«i.id '-the fact that this conspiracy ' is .publicly n.i'ide cannot but /HaVe. -a e'llntary in(fufUipe up<}u ; U'qHft w.hb'^hiivu entirely forgotten Hieir .mothers arid' /wlio perhaps would be all the bettei* for a 'reminder of the fact.
THE CHILDREN'S CENTURY. - Whilst parentage receives due recognition, • there is a tendency also m America, and we believe all the world over, to elevate tbe status and- preserve the rights of the child. On April Ist there came into force m England -what is known as the Children's Charter, an Act of Parliament providing especially for the safety and welfare of child life. One of the last, 'but not least of the services rendered by President Roosevelt, was to call a conference of experts at Washington to study the question df dependent children. ''That two hundred earnest - men and women should," says an American contemporary, "come together upon tliis. inyjJtation shows that this century is indeed 4the children!s century. A great change has taken place since even wej were children, sin those days, cliildren were seen and nbt heard. Now we hear children and hear them const-vntly. We have changed the law 1 for children, and given them special courts and special probation 'officers, instead of lumping them, as we used to do, with gi-owH-iip criminals. We are getting playgrounds for them and recreation centres ; we are revolutionising the schools and the kindergartens and the libraries, and even the. newspapers foi* the sake of the little ones. .We are* examining the little bodies as well as the, minds of the children v at school, so thnt a child may begin life with all the advantages that we can give it, and we ,nre oven experimenting with' the question of feeding pupils, so ' that no child may grow up dull and stupid because its parents are too poor, or foolish or careless tb provide for it. We are not only writing rew magazines arid new ' thousands of books for children, but we are writing and acting new plays for them. Tlie. centre of the modern household is the child ; this is the century* of tlie child." What is said of America, we believe, to its credit, holds good of New Zealand. . Our labor laws are niorevbencficent than those of any other country witli. respoct to prohibiting and fegulaling the employment of child labor.- Admirable provision is made m i our law courts for the treatment of juvenile offenders. The law provides for the suppression of cigarette smoking by young boys. In response to the influence of Lady Plunket and others, there has been a widespread movement for the pteservdtion of infant life, and it is undeniable that numy infants, thanks to the Pluii/ket nurses and. the instruction given, receive a miicli better start m life than they otherwise would have had. ' Altogether, the Children's Century may be said to have mado a good 'commencement m this quarter of the globe.
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