Trayvon Martin Would Have Been 27 Years Old Today

I know there is not much anyone can say to make a dent in the troubling outcome of so many race-related injustices in our communities these days. What we can do immediately is: Raise your sons to be men of honor and dignity. Raise young men who are fearless, respectful, and intelligent. Remind them that not every fight is theirs, and sometimes it takes a lot more courage to walk away from a situation than it does to engage in a battle they may lose. Raise daughters who are smart, savvy, and strong. Who value and appreciate their own lives and know how critical they are to the lives of those around them. Don’t shield your children from the harsh realities in this world.

History is replete with experiences that show some people are uncivilized, and many never evolved past savagery and barbarism. Teach them to raise their eyes up and away from the laptops and smartphones and tablets and game consoles and focus on the world around them, so when they are faced with trouble, injustice, pain, and uncertainty, they are not blindsided. Instead, arm them with the mental and emotional resources to deal with and overcome. We can rant and rage all we want (and we should), that our voices need to be heard. But change will begin in our homes. Let’s not raise a generation that thinks these “decisions” are ok or that choose to look past them because it “does not affect them.” They need to know that they are affected, just as we were. This will be their history. This will be their lesson in how utterly hateful society can be and how horrifically some circumstances unfold. Our children have to learn to value their lives because they will discover that others view them as invaluable for whatever reason.

I may not change the world. But I can learn from its difficult lessons and apply them accordingly to ensure where I stand is a place of pride, strength, power, and, yes, defiance and outrage when necessary. Moreover, I can raise a children who understands there is so much more work to be done, and they must be part of the solution and not contribute to the problem. My heart bleeds for the families who have lost their Kings. No, I don’t know them…but they are me. They are parents who raised and loved and adored a child. And I can not imagine what it is like to have that part of your heart ripped from your chest in such a tragic and unnecessary way. May God have mercy on them and on us. We need to do better.

— Carlos Wallace, author “Life Is Not Complicated-YOU ARE”

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