Oh, friends. Can we pull up a chair and talk for awhile? I’m making a cup of tea, maybe you’d like to have one as well? Let’s sit at this virtual table for a moment and all take a deep, long breath.
It’s been a wild couple of months. I suppose we knew this was all coming, didn’t we? It couldn’t possibly have been an easy transition to our new President given that it’s been anything but easy for the last year and a half. We shouldn’t be surprised at all that’s transpired.
But aren’t we all just a little shocked?
Every once in awhile I find myself closing my eyes and dreaming of a day when the contention and heartache of this world didn’t seem so entirely palpable. And than it dawned on me that there has, perhaps, never been such a time. I’m just all grown up now.
Because of social media, and ’round the clock new stations, my kids are more aware of the tensions in our current world than I ever was at their ages. I was 12 when we launched Operation Desert Storm. Were it not for the snippets of conversation I managed to tune in to when my parent’s were talking, I’m not sure I would have even known our country was at war.
I was sheltered, yes. I’m not denying that fact. But life was also quieter then.
So we keep the dialogue going, and I pray that every once in awhile the things my husband and I say sink into his rather thick teenage brain. The dialoguing, I’ve found, is the key component to raising a humble leader.
I refuse to allow my son’s opinions of the world to be formed by his peers, by what he reads online, by what he sees on the news, and good heavens not by what he hears from Washington D.C.
No, my boy-man’s education on how to live in a contentious world is coming from me, and from his father. We’re engaging him in this dialogue because it’s important.
We want him, and his siblings to understand that life is far more complicated than black or white, left or right, Democrat or Republican. We can’t assume he will figure this out on his own, especially not when the world is busy shouting and pointing fingers and demanding validation for their differing world views.
Raising strong leaders begins at home. It starts inside our own four walls, and then spreads into our communities.
I say this with extreme gentleness understanding that not everyone has the benefit of such nurturing inside the walls of their homes. That’s why we must remain active in our communities, serving and sharing life with our neighbors, the ones who look like us and the ones who do not.
We need to bring our children into the fold of the world, away from the computers and the vitriol that so easily spills from the fingertips of impassioned typists, and we need to show them how to love.
We are in for a long four years, an exhausting four years, in fact. But it doesn’t have to overwhelm us, and it certainly shouldn’t frighten us, because we still maintain the power to teach and point our children, the next generation, how to be true leaders.
We will teach them to love mercy, to seek kindness, the serve humbly, to stand courageously, and to act based upon the convictions of their hearts.
We will do this if we allow ourselves to step away from the noise from time to time. We, as the grown ups, cannot be defined by fear and rhetoric and still minister to our children’s hearts and the hearts of our community.
Raising a generation of leaders is the challenge before us, and it is a hefty challenge. But I think we’re all up for it.