catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 10, Num 12 :: 2011.06.24 — 2011.07.07


Raising a generation of courage

It’s a terrible time in world history to be raising kids. Or so I’ve been informed by those in my parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

My kids were born post 9/11. They will never know what it’s like to fly without having to take off their shoes and nearly strip down for security. In their world, no longer do mean kids pass gossipy notes back and forth in class. Instead, they use their cell phones when the teacher’s back is turned to post their comments on their social media sites for the world to see.

At first, I was afraid to parent this next generation in an often scary world. As the older generations shuddered and looked at me with pity, thankful that their parenting task was complete, I couldn’t help but feel as helpless as the sweet, innocent, fuzzy-headed child in my arms.

Then one day as I was contemplating this world of war and terrorism, in which kids bring guns to school and commit felonies with their cell phones, I suddenly felt at peace and empowered.

Not only is this a different world than I grew up in, I’m also a different parent than the generations before me. That isn’t to say that I have this labyrinth of 21st century parenting solved. But I am courageous, and my senses are heightened to the world around me. Most importantly, I’m not afraid. I know I have been placed in this time in history to help raise this next generation — to give them the gift of empowering love and to instill in them courage and a hope for peace.

While I will teach them to be alert to the world’s dangers, I will not raise them to be afraid of the world or think it’s a terrible place to live. Instead, I will guide them to see the gifts of beauty that surround them every day. I will teach them, to the degree that they are able, to live peaceably with all people, and that when others choose a way that is not peaceful, they still have the power to love.

The greatness of the world depends not on world peace or the economy or whether we agree with current governmental policies. The world’s greatness lies within our own hearts and our ability to share love with those around us.

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