Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thinking of Boston

The recent horrific events in Boston have brought to mind a few comments I have heard from people throughout the last several years.  Comments that run along the lines of "I don't know if I want to bring children into this world".  While I can understand that people may not want to have to explain to their children why parts of our world are the way they are, allow me to present a counter argument.   In the words of Whitney Houston.  (yeah...sorry)

But, seriously, what would be the point of not bringing children into the world?   So that they don't have to grow up in a world of hate and violence?  The world has always been full of that.  Always. From the beginning of time, humans fought with each other over belongings, boundaries, and beliefs from local spats to global wars. You may think that it has gotten worse over the last few years, and you may or may not be right, but the only way to counteract the bad in our world is to introduce more good.   Children are good.   They are the seed in the soil - everything we want to be before we can be it.   They are the hopes and the dreams of all that is possible.   But, they can't do it alone.  They need our help to teach them and support them.  Children, most of the time, do what they are taught to do.  If we teach them to hate and hurt, then that is exactly what they do.   However, if we teach them how to love, then they'll do that too. 

I know I am being overly optimistic.  I recognize the stars in my eyes.  I know the problems of the world can't be solved by giving all of our children hugs.  But then, I think of all of our times of tragedy as a nation that I can remember.  Oklahoma City, Columbine, 9/11, Virginia Tech, Newtown, Boston. All of these were senseless acts of violence committed by disturbed people.   None were warranted, all were tragic.  What happened in the face of these tragedies, however, was anything but tragic.  Every single time, people stepped forward to help, both immediately and after the fact.  They banded together to pick up the pieces and help everyone carry on.  Countless resources and hours of volunteer time were given freely and without question. Words of encouragement and support flew from every corner of our country - and even the world.  I admit, it is sad that it takes a disaster to make this happen, but the point is it does happen.  Human beings are inherently good.  When it comes down to brass tacks, we step up for our fellow man.   And that is worth celebrating.  

To return to the main point of what I am trying to say, if we continue to teach our children to love, then they will teach theirs the same.  And, yes, there will always be those rotten apples thrown into the mix that force us to reassess what we are doing, but we can't let that stop us from trying to make our corner of the world a better place.  We do that through our words, our actions, our teachings.  We not only teach our children how to be a good citizen, we show them how.   We show them how to love despite differences and triumph despite obstacles.  Proof of this happening is in our reaction to the foulness around us.  I would bet you money if you looked at every single person who rushed to help at any sort of emergency situation, anyone who assisted with the aftermath, or anyone to simply sent their support, you'd discover someone in their life who taught them the importance of doing so.  

I hope one day to be able to have this responsibility - this honor - of teaching my children how to be decent human beings.   I hope one day, they take that decency within them and shine it up into something spectacular.   We are who we are taught to be.  Don't be afraid to bring up children in our world.  Be afraid not to.