Ten years ago yesterday, I remember waking up and watching the news...or listening to it, rather, to keep track of time as I got ready for work. I remember the horrifying clips of all that was going on that morning...and I remember thinking, "I'm bringing a baby into this world...I can't raise a baby in this world, what am I doing?!"
I was far from NYC as the twin towers crashed to the ground, but, I remember that day vividly.
Today, I still have moments where I ask myself what on earth I am doing raising children in this world...how on earth can I shelter them from all of the acts of hatred...how can I keep them small and innocent forever? how how can I train them up to be little activists? lovers of ALL human beings? kind, giving, compassionate, forgiving, merciful, gracious? HOW? how do they not become jaded by all of the hurt in the world? how do I keep them from being hurt so they never hurt? These questions ran through my mind ten years ago and honestly have at least once a week since each of my children have been born. There are times when I just want to put my children in a bubble so they can be sweet and innocent little people for all of their lives...so they can grow up and meet a nice person who loves them very much, who was raised in a bubble too and they can live happily ever after and never suffer any pain.
but that is not real. what's even less real is expecting them to be kind by placing them in a bubble...ha! that couldn't be farther from the truth...yes, I have done my best to instill love and compassion in those babes of mine...but, let's face it, they are human and were born sinners...my own little world at home is filled with tantrums and treating siblings unkindly...I have to take those moments and use them as teachable moments in hope that my children will go out into the real world and exhibit the same kind of love they are shown at home....
I realize that by sheltering my kids from the hurt and pain in the world, I am leaving them in the same American bubble that frustrates me...the one where celebrity gossip makes more time on the news than does the tragedies taking place all over the world and to little people the same age as my children...I realize that I MUST educate my children on horrible horrible acts like 9/11, the holocaust, heart mountain, slavery both in our country and happening to people currently ALL over, civil wars taking place RIGHT now in other parts of the world, starvation, orphans, HIV, homelessness...I MUST tell them about these horrible things, so that they have compassion, so that they can help stand up against such things...so they can love on others.
what I find most sad is when hatred is taught...when prejudices are sewn into the minds of little children...that, that kind of hatred can only be learned. I remember not liking the looming racial tensions that still exist in the south...being raised in the west (or north from a southerner's perspective) and very far removed from prejudice, I had no idea hatred like that could exist...and, to be completely honest, when we arrived in Savannah...no matter how excited I was to be at SCAD, I was so afraid that my children might be around people who still held onto their southern prejudices, feelings that had been passed down from one generation to the next...I hated the thought that my children could even be exposed to such things. That is one thing that will NEVER be okay in my book...never, never, never...
I want you to read my blogging friend, Sabina's story, I like to read Sabina's blog because she is quite the seamstress...but in this particular post she didn't write about sewing, she wrote about how 9/11 has affected her...it's so sad...please take a minute and read. Sabina, like so many Muslim-Americans has been terribly affected by 9/11.
For those of you that are in need of a good book...one that broadens our awareness (about many subjects) check one of these out (and this is just a small list that touches the surface...there are tons of amazing organizations out there to help victims of 9/11, victims of child slavery, victims of famine, former child soldiers etc etc. I suggest reading some of these and then getting involved in an organization that helps what ever it is that breaks your heart, something you are passionate about):
A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
The Kite Runner
Mountains Beyond Mountains
or watch Blood Diamond
and for kids:
Number the Stars
Meet Addy: An American Girl