I just spent the last 45 minutes listening to my two children make incessant sound effects while playing with actual action figures.
Since my family is blessed with the ability to work and stay at home, I didn’t care that it was inching on 11 o’clock. There’s no school tomorrow and there’s nowhere to go. No birthday parties or soccer games or any other scheduled affairs. Sometimes, and much more frequently than before, I have let my children’s happiness take precedence over routines. I’ve permitted myself to let go of my resistance to bending the rules or going past bedtime.
Politicians across the aisle yesterday made similar statements wishing the President well.
And, truly, it is the adult thing to do.
Most of us know it’s wrong to wish any human-being ill. We shouldn’t contribute to fanning the flames of hate in either direction. And although every single presidential administration in our history save the present one exhibited diplomatic self-control, we should not allow this administration’s behavior to impact individuals’ decency and civility.
Voicing our own politically charged and morally erroneous statements should remain silent. I know I wasn’t alone in following my own advice yesterday. But that was yesterday.
You hear it all the time. Daily, almost, if you watch the local news. People, sometimes in precarious situations, disclosing to the public that they’re a Christian, as if it’s the one factor we must know to quickly and confidently believe that we’re listening to a fine moral person.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-Christianity. There are truly great Christians guided by the dogma of love that Jesus preaches. The Christianity that Jesus taught is a beautiful thing. But so are a whole lot of other religions, dogmas, philosophies, and prescribed traditions.
I’ve always found it incredibly ironic…
I knew watching the body cam video of George Floyd would be difficult. The same kind of difficult as watching Shindler’s List or 12 Years a Slave. So, when my husband resolved to watch it, I had no desire to join him.
As a supporter of the Black Lives Movement, I fall in line with a growing number of Americans who believe police brutality is racially charged and inherently problematic. With the courage of these convictions, I had no desire for further proof and certainly didn’t want to do so by viewing the moments leading up to George’s murder.
My 16-year-old son came down unusually excited this morning. “Did you know that some lab crossed a human embryo with a pig’s and now there’s a half-pig, half-human creature?”
“Is that for real? Do you have a picture of it?” I asked, incredulously.
“Yeah.” I could see him enthusiastically retrieving the picture of this creature on his phone. “See!”
I studied it. “Are you sure it’s not photoshopped?”
“Yeah, it’s right there in the article.”
I opened the article in disbelief. I supposed it was possible that with the rest of our country hyper-focused on the pandemic, bioethics went by…
“My number one job is to keep you safe.” That is the mantra I have repeated for the last 13 years because in my classroom I believe that you cannot learn until you feel safe.
I’ll say it to you on the first day of school when we practice our fire drills and I’ll repeat it throughout the year, during those tough times — like after the Sandy Hook shooting or a regional mass shooting, during those tornado warnings, or during those times that you need solace. I say it, I repeat it, and I live it.
The predictable pattern in U.S. history is a tug of war between reformers and traditionalists. And perhaps, the reformers throughout our history would agree that the American collective dream of “liberty and justice for all” is dependent on progress.
Whether it’s the patriots of our revolution, the abolitionists, the civil rights movement or our most recent reforms like gay marriage or marijuana legalization, they all follow a similar process. With each new reform, our values and our resolve are strengthened, improving the freedom of more Americans, and, to varying degrees, redefining what freedom looks like itself.
American history has shown…
An educator by trade and a writer by will. A lifelong learner who loves and engages with the power of words.