So today I want to talk about choices and responsibilities. My 6 yr old ace was involved in an incident that gave me pause as a parent.
It became so much more than a lesson for Ace but made me think deeper into a lot of issues as a whole not just as a parent but as a human being.
Ace was with a few older kids who were throwing rocks and hit a neighbor’s car. The incident in itself would have been an accident had the same issue not been brought up a week prior. Ace was told at that time that even though he did not throw the rock that he had a responsibility to stop the action and or leave the situation and tell an adult. So one week later here we are in the same situation, but different neighbor and car. Ace again was not the perpetrator but was at the scene and apart of the crowd. This time he said stop, but as far as anything else goes he stayed right there in the group and carried on as usual. After being properly called out by the offended neighbor, the children scattered and Ace and I walked back over to their home and Ace had to apologize for his part of the shenanigans and accept the punishment for all involved. It was not enough to just sit on the sidelines and say stop. But he should have made sure the rock thrower (who is a great kid) know that it was wrong and then Ace should have left the scene to really make his point that he did not condone the behavior and would not be a part of it in any way and tell an adult.
AS I was trying to explain to ace how his role in the situation landed him in a heap of trouble it made me think of so much more as my role not only as a concerned parent but as a member of human society. Always speak up when someone is doing something wrong, especially if it harms someone else, and make sure to distance yourself from the problem and go tell Someone who can help.
Why do we forget the things we were taught as kids? Why, after a certain age do we allow ourselves to not be governed by those same rules and general principles we were taught as youngsters. When little you were told, If you witness someone being treated unfairly, bullied or harmed you should speak up and say something, no matter the consequence. It seems as we get older that we feel those rules no longer apply ? The Golden rule has always been and will always be relevant. It should always remain at the forefront of what we think say and do. Our very ability to have compassion and reason, and acceptance should be what binds us all right?
Kindness and wisdom ultimately lead to enlightenment and the ultimate goal is love right? This is what we teach our children, So then once we reach a certain age, why do we divide ourselves by anything other than love, kindness, respect? I mean we do not have to share the same facial features, in order to share the same bond as caring individuals wanting to live the best lives for ourselves and our children. We want our kids to be treated fairly, thrive in their environment, love and be loved. Right? Well if we all as adults would display that same acceptance and behavior towards each other, we can and will affect positive change for them and them their kids.
We must hold ourselves accountable. Sitting idly by on the sidelines witnessing poor behavior while sipping lattes and hitting awesome yoga poses all the while condoning bad behavior on any front must no longer be tolerated. If a child is hurt, the first question you ask is what is wrong! Not criticize them for their feelings! Well do the same for your fellow-man and woman.
Have more compassion and empathy and less judgment and hate for your mankind. We are all in one giant classroom together of life. Find out why someone is hurting or first better yet, just stop and acknowledge that they are hurting!! Then proceed to find out why, you may be surprised at the outcome.
So I implore us all who have fallen victim of sitting on the sidelines to take action if nothing else have a conversation about it. Let’s not just talk about injustice in our own home, neighborhood, culture, society, religion, tax bracket, education status or other things that divide us on the surface. Look beyond your usual circle and ask yourself, have you heard, seen or witnessed a wrong committed to someone just because of their social, economic or ethnic standing? Have you just said that’s terrible and then gone on with your day? If so you too are guilty of just letting it go and that we can no longer afford to do.
SO pick up a newspaper or go to a community meeting of another nationality, social organization or operation than you are used to. Read about what’s going on outside of just your normal circle. Educate yourself on other matters, such as immigration discrimination, inner city education needs or many of the other issues that may or may not affect you directly.
WE have to stop viewing things according to our direct pain. WE all should care about each other and each others feelings. I don’t have to be Native American to be deeply concerned and saddened by the Cleveland Indians ridiculous logo, or the Washington Redskins mascot. Or what’s going on at Standing Rock. And you do not have to be Black to feel that Black Lives Matter! Wrong is wrong. You do not have to be Muslim in order to be offended at the thought of not be fairly admitted into the United States of America. You do not have to be white in order to say that OJ did it and HE WAS WRONG. You do not have to be over weight in order to have empathy of someone getting fat shamed, or vice versa. You do not have to be disabled or have a disabled family member in order to be enraged when someone who is made fun of or not allowed certain access or rights. You do not have to be a Mexican American in order to be completely and utterly disgusted by the vile references to an entire race and culture in modern politics and you certainly don’t have to be Asian American to be offended by the utter lack of consideration and mere refusal to acknowledge their presence!! Let’s get off the sidelines good people and get in this fight, for our children, for what’s right, for our souls, for humanity.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Martin Luther King Jr.