One week ago, I was driving my eldest to gymnastics when my youngest (7yo) made a bold declaration from the back seat: “I’m not going to play with Shane anymore cuz he told me he doesn’t believe in God.”
*insert noise of car screeching to a halt*
Life lesson time, youngsters.
If there is one takeaway I want my sons to have when they fly the coop, it’s to never, ever judge someone by their beliefs, and to never, ever be so obtuse and naïve to think that your way is the only/best/right way. Not just religious beliefs, either – I’m talking about all beliefs, philosophies, lifestyles, and choices. My motto is: If they’re not harming anyone, let them be. You know what you need to be able to do that?
My sons live in a bubble: they don’t have to worry about their next meal, or having shoes on their feet, or books to read, or having parents who love and support them. It’s a beautiful, magical bubble that I’m intensely grateful for and that everyone should live in. But that’s not reality. My job is to show them other realities so they don’t become elitist, entitled, douchebags who don’t pull their own weight in society. They need to hold themselves accountable, not just for their own actions and choices, but for the world they live in. You know what you need to not be a giant douche?
Look at poverty, abuse, neglect, famine, mental/physical illness, war…it’s ugly as fuck, isn’t it? Is it uncomfortable to witness? Good. Help in any way you can, no matter what that means for you, no matter how big or small, because Every. Little. Bit. Counts. I want my sons to care. You know what you need to care?
Care because it’s imperative to give a shit. Care because it takes a village. Care because it could be YOU who needs help one day. Care because this is your world too and it’s your role as resident.
Compassion. Empathy. Perspective.
More than a thousand people have committed to write about this very thing on February 20, and I’m honored to be among them. It started with this post by Lizzi, which inspired an idea, which inspired hundreds of people to join together for a cause.
I invite you to join us on Feb 20 by participating with an act of compassion and using the hashtag #1000Speak whether writing a post, writing something compassionate on a friend’s FB wall, sharing or tweeting a post about compassion, creating an inspirational video, etc.
If you don’t have a blog but you’d love to write a post, Jen St Germain Leeman has set up a #1000Speak for Compassion blog just for you! You can email your post to 1000Speak [@] gmail [dot] com and it will be published on Feb 20th!
FLOOD THE WORLD WITH COMPASSION. You don’t have to be a blogger.
You just have to care.