How to Explain Hatred

It’s Martin Luther King Day and with the day off I’ve had time to reflect on what today is for. I’ve also had time to ponder the importance of teaching my youngest about Martin Lither King, Jr. and the history he represents.

How do you explain the civil rights movement to a 4 year old who has no concept of such hatred in the world?

How do you tell her that there was a time (not that long ago) that her uncle, an amazing man who loves his wife with everything he has, would have been beaten for looking admiringly at her aunt?

How do you tell her that some of her friends wouldn’t be allowed to go to her preschool? That she would be expected to hate them based on the color of their skin.

She doesn’t see color, not in the way the world does. She doesn’t categorize the importance of people based on the color of their skin, what they have, or who they love.

She simply loves those who love her.

It breaks my heart to know that she will learn, at some point, that there are people in this world who place greater value on the color of your skin rather than who you are as a person.

It is my responsibility as her mother to equip her for encounters with people who have this mindset.

And so rather than explaining hatred,
I will teach her about love.

Loving others regardless of the color of their skin, what they have or who they love.

Loving others when they are less than loving to you.

Loving others who stand for something you’re against.

Those last two are the tough ones. But if I am to be the kind of mother I feel God wants me to be, I have to be examples of those to her as well.

I want her to stand up for what is right but not hate those who are wrong.

Our children aren’t born hating others; it’s something they’re taught.
Parents, as we raise our children, let’s teach them to love before the world teaches them to hate.

20140120-192354.jpg

Advertisements

Seeing things from a different view

It’s everywhere you look this evening. News of the Connecticut elementary school shooting is all over the television, Internet and social media.

Another senseless shooting, killing innocent people.

Every time something like this happens, I react as a mother. I think of my own children and how grateful I am that they are healthy and safe.

I can never wrap my head around wicked things that happen like that. But this time it really got to me.

Because now I am a teacher and I have a new perspective that I didn’t have 4 months ago.

I teach small children. Sweet, loving, little children who have never imagined something so horrific was even possible.

I simply cannot fathom someone going into an elementary school with the intention of killing small children. I can’t help but think not only “what if that had been one of my children?” but also, “What if that had been my class, our school?”

I think of each one of my students and their little faces as they walk in my classroom each day and how much I am blessed by who they are.

I think about all those poor babies and what they must have gone through and it infuriates me that someone would turn school into a place where children don’t feel safe.

I just don’t understand it.

Tonight, I will go to bed with a grateful heart as I snuggle with AH, knowing she is safe. And I will thank God for the opportunity to greet my students again on Monday. I know some will not be as fortunate.
_________________________________