• Posted: Jun 15, 2013 23:20:09
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"I like my daddy!"
What a precious, joyous thing to hear and observe. Precious, because it is heartwarmingly meaningful and far too rare. Joyous, because it verifies what we believe deep down inside should be, actually can be. Perhaps not for everyone, but at least for some. And if for some, perhaps one day for all.
Our children are our future. Their future, and the world's future. What we teach them, in the way that we treat them and others in their vicinity, is what they will carry with them on into their dealings with others. If we teach them to be wary, never to trust, always expect the worst, then that is what we will get as a society, citizens who have little reason to get along peaceably with each other nor reason to cooperate with one another. Instead, all the institutions that the responsible among us have built to facilitate cooperation will die of disuse, as will our larger societies and our communities. In their place what we will likely see are walls, fences, and armed guards bent on keeping out, or in, all who may be untrustworthy. No one will smile. Everyone will fear.
But none of that has to be. Responsible parents, with the help of wise teachers, can nurture our next generations to be caring of each other, to be visionary in their establishment of goals, and confident that if they earnestly and equitably work together, they will get there, all of them, together.
Our society is not like that now. Every day there are stories in the news of abuse, exploitation, fraud, and betrayals of trust. At base, every one of those stories is in some manner a rationalized attempt to gain one up on the rest of us or right the balance in some way for previously suffered abuse, exploitation, and betrayal of trust. The cycle is unending and ever widening, on the verge of consuming us all. And there is no cure for it, no reprisal, no incarceration, no bigger more threatening sign of warning. We cannot correct what has been taught and reinforced over and over again. That is fantasy. But what we can do is say NO. No, the cycle stops here, with this next generation. These kids will be taught to care for and respect one another. These kids will be shown that non-betrayal of trust, earnest cooperation, and equitable sharing of rewards is foundation for a society that is both sustainable and full of meaning and the potential for joy. These kids. These kids right here.
We are all their teachers. Together we must both teach and show them a way forward, a way forward that simply leaves all that stuff we suffer from and inflict upon each other behind. We can do that. Let's do that. Let's begin today.
May it be so.
Saturday, June 9th, 2012
43.3 mm 205 mm