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Friday, April 19, 2013

The world is "safe and good"? I don't think ...

How do you teach your children to believe that the world is safe and people are good, when you know that's not true? This isn't a "how-to", I have no tips today. In fact, I'm asking my readers to help me make sense of this conundrum.

Always an optimist, always finding the positive in people - that's me. Always imaging the best case scenario admist dire circumstances, that has been my modus operandi. My bright eyed outlook comes from faith, personality and my personal experience that even when things are shaky, more often than not they work out to the advantage of all involved. Time and life lessons have dimmed these beliefs over time. At one point I thought life was fair; into my twenties I realized that wasn't true at all. The most generous of us often lose what we hold most dear, opportunites slip through our fingertips and people most deserving come up short time and again. Dastardly individuals lie, cheat and steal to get ahead. They receive the rewards, recognition and can go unchecked for a lifetime. The world has proven to be a dangerous, volatile place, but we can't keep our children home, safe in our arms forever. It is our duty to make them aware of how much they are loved and protected, that they don't live in fear. Undeniably, we'd go to extremes to keep them from harm; but they must go to school, to places of worship, to sporting events, etc. They ride in cars, buses, trains and airplanes. They visit residences of people we trust, but how well do you ever really know another person? How can we teach them to build relationships with others when it's so hard to determine who deserves our countenance?

In recent years our nation, and countries across the globe, have witnessed horrific tragedy and violence. The 911 terrorist attacks, foreign and domestic bombings, unprecedented natural disasters, daily gun violence on city streets and inexplicable evil purported by sick individuals. Life is as fragile as always, but appreciation of it is disappearing. This week has been exhausting for me, like a wake up call brought on by a bucket of cold water. I'm afraid I've taken off my rose colored glasses for good. My belief that good will prevail, kindness is reciprocated and justice can be served is fading. However, my faith remains firm. My dedication to my family is stronger than ever. My duties to love and protect the innocence of my children has been invigorated. Nonetheless, I stand at a crossroads unsure whether it's in their best interest to view the world as I did at their age, or to begin making them aware, bit by bit, of the uncertain times we live in.     

1 comment:

Lady MGA said...

The secret of life is to have no fear! I would definitely use this as opportunity to introduce them to, or reaffirm the goodness of God. His power, majesty and sovereignty. Helping them understand the He's got the whole wold in His hand. Yes, bad things happen but He has a plan that circumvents all the things going on around us in "this" world. Check out which is an African American Christian publishing company whose resources our church uses. They are particularly good for Vacation Bible School and Tots & Teens Sunday School. You'll find tools that will help you teach a child how to understand God in their way. You can always start with a children's Bibleas well. They have some really nice ones at Borders or a Christian Book store. As Jesse says, "Let's keep hope alive."