As a mother, much of my daily existence is very mindless and repetitive. I sometimes feel as though I am repeating the same messages over and over again: “clean your room,” “don’t pick your nose,” “settle down,” or “say please,” are a few favorites of mine. And of course there are also the two that I swore I would NEVER say to my children: “we’ll see” (we all know that really means “no”), and “because I said so.” I say these too.
A tape recorder could accomplish the same job, and a robot could do the laundry, cook the meals, pick up the clutter, etc. Apart from the loving, my daily routine doesn’t take much thought or emotional involvement.
What DOES take intelligence and feeling however, is the effort to instill in our children a sense of our values.
I dislike the term “values.” It is overused nowadays, and often has a politically conservative connotation. For some reason it just rubs me the wrong way, like “empower” and “proactive.”
However, the fact is, that every single one of us on this planet has “values.” We all place emotional or intellectual importance on certain life issues. In other words, we have principles that we hope to pass along to our children. While we might wildly disagree on what our “values” should be, we all hope our children will eventually adopt our particular “values” and thus become “good people” (as interpreted differently by each family).
One of the lessons that I would like my children to learn is that of peace. In my mind peace begins with tolerance and acceptance. But I don’t want my children to simply tolerate and accept, I want them to truly love the differences that exist on this planet. I want them to be excited about other cultures, traditions, races, religions, cuisines, languages…everything that is different from themselves and their lives.
I hope I am not rudely presuming too much by venturing to guess that most of the readers of Unplug Your Kids include some version of peace in their set of “values.” In fact, I believe that most families around the world value peace, even those who we are told are currently “the enemy.”
We as mothers (and fathers of course, but I don’t think many fathers read Unplug Your Kids), have the world’s most important and powerful job. We have a chance to create a peace-loving generation that celebrates differences. If every family on our planet had peace and tolerance (at the very least) as a value and actively worked to pass this along, could we eradicate war in one generation?
This is obviously a Utopian vision, but as mothers, we must remember that no president, prime minister, king, or queen has the power that we do. When I get too caught up in dirty laundry and saying “no,” I must remind myself of this.
Like mothers in every corner of this Earth, I feel that even if my children continue to pick their noses into adulthood, I nonetheless will have done my bit for humanity if I manage to produce three enlightened and thoughtful inhabitants of our plant.
It is time again for blogger Mimi Lenox’s semi-annual BlogBlast for Peace. Thursday, November 6th is the day when hundreds of bloggers worldwide (40 countries have signed on so far!) will all blog about one topic: PEACE. Every post will be entitled Dona Nobis Pacem (“Grant Us Peace”). This will be my fourth time joining in.
If you hope to contribute to a new generation of peace creators and lovers, please consider joining in. I’d love to read your thoughts on how you help your children understand that they can and should make a difference in this life.
I hope to read your thoughts on November 6th!