As Candlemas is coming soon (February 2nd), I have been thinking a lot about the image of light in the darkness. Some parents tell me that they see the world as dark place.
I agree that even general politeness and reverance seems to have taken a distinct turn for the worse. I saw something this morning where after the Eagles won the play-off game against the Minnesota Vikings, some people held up a sign mocking the Viking’s 99- year old- fan, Millie. The sign said “F— Millie.” (and there was more on Twitter, as related in this article.) To me, that just about sadly epitomized where we are as a society. Sometimes everything in the media seems so rude, raw, and ugly, down to disrespecting an elder over a football game.
However, my children have to live in this world, and their children will live in it too. I can only hope we as a family are equipping them to:
Be capable — Interesting article on that here in the NY Times from 2012
Be resilient. Notice the beauty even amidst the struggle
Do what is right and not be afraid to stand up for that even if it is different (for me, much of this is centered around our spiritual lives as part of The Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Communion, but also entwined with the idea of integrity and just not being a horrible human being. Some days my parenting goals are as small as “just don’t grow up to be a terrible human being.” )
Have integrity – to be who they are at all times. I never want them to have a private life that is completely different and unethical than their public life.
Be a lover of the whole of humankind, to be kind and help people. Here is a back post on kindness in the home.
Have and keep the faith. This was an expression in my family growing up that when we would part someone would inevitably say, “Keep the faith.” We knew as a family that life was hard, life was up and life was down, but goodness remained. I still feel that way today.
Tell me your favorite ways you are equipping your children and yourself to be a light in the darkness.
Blessings and love,
I have been focusing on the 4th of the “6 Basic Exercises” quite a bit! Having this inward positivity and openness helps me have a gesture in the world that I would like my children to be able to model.
Oh, you have no idea how I needed this today!
We’re pretty much teaching them to be kind, to look after the planet, and to always be themselves.
Great post. It helps me so much to come to places like this, where others are being a light in this world, and know that there is hope! 🙂 Sometimes it’s not just the big problems that are so troubling it’s the little kindnesses and respectfulness that seems to be missing in society anymore–in our neighborhood, many of the people don’t even wave, let alone smile, when they pass by in a car or on a walk! I’m glad that my children are small enough that we are able to protect their innocence so far and I’m hoping they will have a strong enough foundation when they do venture forth more that their light will still shine bright. Something that helps me personally when I feel discouraged is turning back to yesteryear — sometimes it’s just so comforting to read old favorites like “Little Women” or “Little House on the Prairie” 😉 I’ve also found some wonderful old stories from the early 1900s on Project Gutenberg–one of my favorites is “Mother Carey’s Chickens” (not about chickens at all, but about a wonderful mother and her little “brood”) so inspiring and soul-nourishing. These old books can also be illuminating, in another way, to see how far we have come as a society in other ways such as in terms of civil rights etc. and know that not all progress has been negative.