If you are looking for my usual snarky post about something trivial, you’d better take your peepers elsewhere. Today I have a serious case of the sads. Consider yourself warned.
I don’t know who was responsible for what happened today. Nor does it really matter to me at this moment. What matters to me right now is that I am raising my two sweet, innocent girls in a world that is unsafe, unkind, hateful, violent and ugly. Sure, there is still beauty, love and kindness in the world. And I like to think that there always will be. But it is too often overshadowed by evil. When I think of the big news stories when I was a little girl I think of the Challenger disaster, the Oliver North hearings and the like. I just don’t think of bombs and shootings and violent things happening to innocent people. We are raising our children in a time when these things happen. A lot. Our hearts are heavy so much more often than they should be. What is happening? More importantly, why? We are all screaming and demanding to know why. But it continues.
What happened today made me think obsessively about something our priest said in his homily on Sunday. And I think it is worth sharing. He said that its time for us to get back to basics. That we can do two things to make the world a better place and pave the way to heaven. Those two things are 1. Follow Christ and 2. Help others. That is all. So simple, yet so profound. Really, what if it was just that easy? If only we could all manage these two things, the world we live in would be immeasurably better. I myself have a lot of work to do. But I promise to do my best. And more importantly, I promise to teach my children to do their best.
See, these terrible things don’t just happen. Someone DOES these terrible things. Someone who probably doesn’t follow Christ and someone who probably doesn’t help others. And someone for whom probably no one went out of their way to help either. Someone sad, lonely, misguided, sick, angry, hurt or otherwise damaged. It’s a travesty of human nature. These someones were once innocent children no different than mine. It’s so hard to even think about.
But that is why I parent the way I choose to parent. The single most important thing to me is to raise kind, compassionate and empathetic human beings. It doesn’t matter to me if they are superior athletes or students or performers. It doesn’t matter to me if they go to elite schools. It doesn’t matter to me if they are the smartest in their classes. It matters to me that they are kind friends. It matters that they don’t hurt others. It matters that they stand up for those who don’t stand up for themselves. It matters that they pray. It matters that they are grateful. It matters that they are honest. It matters that they learn to be charitable. I will not be absolutely successful at teaching them any of these things. And I’m not so arrogant to think they will grow up to be perfect, idyllic people. But that won’t stop me from trying to make that happen. That I can promise. But if, like the priest said, we go back to basics, maybe, just maybe it will make a difference. If we could all (myself included) take a step away from our hectic, complicated, excessive, driven lives and adjust our priorities to following Christ and helping others, just maybe it will make a difference. Maybe our hearts would have more occasion to be light. Maybe there would be less rage, hate and violence. Maybe there would be less mourning. Maybe, more love. Worth a try, I say…
So I will.