It starts at home.
With everything going on in the world right now it’s almost too much for an empathic person like me to bear. But I do bear it, typically by bottling it up, or compartmentalizing it, or writing about it. Now, that I have a child of my own, I try to focus on the change I can affect right here in my own home with what resources I have available.
My response to all the corruption and confusion and violence we’re all so accustomed to waking up to each morning is to do right by my own son. To raise him up not only to fulfill his potential regarding his education and career but to instill in him an underlying code of ethics and morality and even more importantly empathy.
Empathy may not be a trait I can instill in him by explaining it, but I can listen to him, care for him, nurture him, express my concern for my fellow humans in front of him. I can go out of my way to help someone; I can accept help even when it hurts my pride. I can talk without yelling. I can treat all life equally. I can discipline him without harming his character.
I don’t know much about parenting other than what I’ve read in books, or studied in class, or experienced first hand. But I do know that the way we treat and teach our children about themselves, their community, their environment, and the world as a whole, directly affects how they engage with humanity.
We’re raising the next generation, in the shadow of the former, let’s do better by them, so they’ll do better by others. Let’s treat them the way we would have them treat others, let’s love them without conditions or restraints and inspire them to become humanitarians.
That all being said, I’ve made up my mind. We’re going to homeschool Jack. Between myself, my husband, and Jack’s Grammy well figure out the logistics.
I care more about him staying kind and thoughtful than I care about him learning how to navigate the social minefield of public school. I reserve no judgment for those among you who prefer public or traditional school, this is just a choice that our family is making.
I’ll talk more about this decision in a later post. But I’ll leave it at that for now.
Stay safe everyone.