Telling a child’s fortune by the day of the week in which she or he was born is an old tradition, dating at least as far back as the mid 1500’s. In 1838, the rhyme that began “Monday’s child is fair of face” and based on that old tradition, was first recorded in the book Traditions of Devonshire. It has remained a popular nursery rhyme ever since.
The rhyme continues “Tuesday’s child is full of grace . . .”
And then comes Wednesday.
“Wednesdays child is full of woe.”
Judging by what took place in the United Sates Senate this past Wednesday, that prediction has a surreal and frightening quality to it. For indeed, there may befall ALL children the woeful consequences of the actions, or rather lack of actions, of a supposedly respected governing body. By failing to even consider a rational or thoughtful dialogue about how to reduce the danger to America’s children – nee, all Americans – brought about by the rampant ownership and deadly use of assault weapons, and by failing to consider ways to guarantee that only those persons responsible enough to own guns, should have that right, the US Senate has forever made Wednesday a day of woe.
The vast majority of Americans believe there should be a lawful, effective and expanded means of checking any person’s credible reason to own a gun of any kind. Especially that should apply to weapons that can spew widespread death and destruction in mere seconds of time. Certainly the bereaved and grief stricken folks in Newton, CT and Aurora CO believe it. And surely those left behind in countless households across our country where vacant places and snuffed out dreams are permanent testimonies to an ache that will never disappear, believe it. Every one of us who wake each morning, desiring nothing more than the opportunity to go about our constitutionally given rights to a free, safe and happy day, believe it.
So why don’t those we send to the hallowed halls of legislation believe it? What retribution do they fear when they pull away from their duty to protect those they are sworn to defend? Are they so enamored with their own power, beguiled by their own stature, owned by their own greed that they are deluded into thinking that “my way or the highway” is the standard by which they are entitled to serve?
Are they so beholden to the likes of the NRA and other ideologically driven forces who use the Constitution as a weapon rather than as a life giving document that opens doors to freedom, justice and equality for all that they have lost their own claim to those same opportunities?
Whatever their reasons, they have failed Wednesday’s child and everyone else who cares for the life that child should inherit. That is not the end. Fortunately, the week goes beyond Wednesday and the children’s rhyme promises better days ahead. True, “Thursday’s child has far to go” but the hope that builds as the week moves to conclusion and where these timeless words lead us . . .
“But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day is bonny and blithe and good and gay”
will indeed be the sustaining force that leads, eventually, to a safer, more tolerant time and to leaders who hear the voice of the people they have pledged to serve and all children will have a chance to be like Friday’s child, “loving and giving.”