I usually stay away from politics on this blog. I have too many dear friends on the other side of the aisle. Needless to say, it was a rough night for a lot of us, a devastating night. I was up until around 2:30 AM and got up early and walked the beach before yoga. And as I walked, I was writing a response in my head to Van Jone’s piece on “How Do We Explain This to Our Children?”
I don’t know how to explain this to my kids or grandkids. I don’t understand it myself. But I do know what I would need to say to anyone who has children. It doesn’t address the very real concerns and fears that people of color, immigrants, and many others have. But it says something about how we can move on. Or at least, how I can move on.
Anyway, below is the letter I just sent to the Sarasota Herald Tribune. Funny, my niece, Caroline, in North Carolina, said almost exactly the same thing in her Facebook post this morning. Nice to know we’re on the same wavelength.
What do we tell our children? We told them never to make fun of the less abled among us. We told them never to bully anyone. We told them to welcome the kid whose language wasn’t English and whose skin was a different shade. We told them to be respectful and that beauty was far more than a pretty face and gorgeous body. We told them that cheating and lying and name calling were wrong. We told them to be honest and pay their debts. What do we tell them now?
The answer is not so hard. We continue to tell them the same thing we have always told them. We tell them that no matter what they see and hear, even from the most powerful man in America, if they want to be able to hold their heads high and end each day knowing they “did no harm”, they will continue to choose to be kind, to be fair, to be honest, to be hard working.
We do not know what’s ahead in the days to come. But we do know this. We, their parents, grandparents, teachers and neighbors, have far more power over the hearts and minds of our children than a man far away in Washington. If we continue to live good and decent lives, if we are brave enough to speak up against actions that are clearly wrong, if we are thoughtful and fair, our children will get the message loud and clear.
Today is a gorgeous day but I’m guessing I may spend the afternoon in bed taking a long nap!