As a mom I believe that I have a great responsibility to instill within my children the values of honesty, integrity, truthfulness, acceptance, appreciation, benevolence, bravery, charity, compassion, conviction, courage, dependability, empathy, faith, generosity, helpfulness, love, modesty, patience, sincerity, and trustworthiness. I believe that it is my job as a parent to teach them right from wrong, to encourage them to reach for the stars, to problem-solve, to question injustice, and to not be afraid to be their own person….
There have been days when this has come easy, and there have been days when this has been (and will continue to be) a monumental challenge – especially when its seems as if the world we live in is fraught with more and more corruption, dishonesty, rejection, hate, violence, greed, gluttony, and rudeness. To turn on the news is to cringe as the majority of stories aired depict deplorable acts of murder, rape, child abuse, assault, robbery, fraud, hate, and discrimination. Positive role models are few and far between; and the majority of those at the forefront of our nation, have more skeletons in their closets than a graveyard has graves. While I want to protect and shield my children from all that is ugly, the reality is that I can’t. The ugliness is to0 prolific and too intertwined in their lives. Case in point, just the other day my older son’s school was in lockdown due to a bomb threat that was called into his school. For 45 minutes my child sat in a classroom, uncertain of what might await him, as state police combed the halls. I was left to wait; and while I waited for word on what was going on, I prayed. When he came home safe I thanked God and hugged him tight. And then I got mad that some sick bastard felt the need to bring their ugliness, their hate, and their poison into our lives.
America needs a wake up call. We may be the land of the free but when should that freedom come at the expense of others? When did it become socially acceptable to lie, to cheat, to steal, and to step on one another for personal gain. The sense of entitlement that has over time become engrained in our culture is in itself detrimental to our growth as a society. What is cloaked in “we” and “us” in reality seems to be more “I” focused. How can we grow together when our motives are segmented? How can we grow together when so clearly inequalities divide our positions? We have created a culture of immediate gratification where everyone wants to be first and waiting one’s turn is no longer an acceptable option. We have seemingly become a nation that is more broken than it is whole.
As a mom I am sickened at all that I must wade through in order to find those moments that truly reflect what it is I want my children to embody and to emulate. It doesn’t mean that I will stop wading, but rather that I will look harder to find and savor those moments, those people, those experiences that will nourish what I want my children to see and who I want them to be.