My Saturday morning began with a knock on the door before I could even have my first sip of tea. It was a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They asked me: in light of what happened in Houston yesterday, what I thought about the future?
Another school shooting
The day before, near Santa Fe, there was yet another school shooting. Ten dead, another ten injured. What makes this event so disheartening is the fact that media reports stated “Many not surprised it happened”. Have people really become so numb to this tragedy that they ‘expect’ it will eventually happen to them? This is what one student said!
The importance of experience
We learn from our experiences. Repeated experiences, create a sense of what we define as normal in life. When we are surrounded by people who care about our wellbeing, are interested in who we are and what we do and are there for us when we struggle, we tend to take on those same qualities with others because we believe that to be normal, appropriate and expected behaviour. In the same way, we know that children of abusive homes are more likely to be abusive because that is the pattern they have learned.
So, then, what are we teaching children when violence continues to happen and promises to address this are not acted upon? What are we teaching children when prejudice prevails and people are treated differently based on skin colour or ethnicity? What are we teaching children when we continue to publicise commentary on what women wear as though that is somehow far more important than what they do?
What can families do?
In our house we have a piece of artwork that includes what it refers to as a Navaho saying: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we are borrowing it from our children.” How often do we take into consideration the ways in which our choices will impact our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and beyond? To what extent does it matter to us what kind of world our children will inherit? What are we willing to do to ensure that the norms and patterns of life that shape who we are will be a positive example for future generations? When historians look back on this time period, what will they say about civilisation as it is embodied today? What do we hope they will say?
Let’s talk about it…
What kind of world do we want for our children? What are we doing to help shape their experiences in order to move the world in that direction?
Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today. Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/