I had a biology teacher that when asked by a classmate if he and his wife had kids replied with “we aren’t having kids, we don’t want to bring kids into a world like this”. I remember thinking what a sad and dismal way to see the world. I was a self declared optimist and idealist which, maybe this is the now cynical me speaking, really means I was naive but I chose to see the world for the good, for the hope.
That was over 20 years ago. Was I naive? Yes, of course I was. Was I naive when I had my first child 9 years ago?
Today it’s so easy to question ourselves as fear and panic of what kind of a world we live in becomes more and more clear. It makes it hard to let our children out of our sights, our arms reach. Every day the news is filled with stories that shake us to the core, that question our humanity, that desensitize us to violence, that curdle the contents of our stomachs, and bring fruitless tears to our eyes.
It would be so easy, so easy to sink into despair and hopelessness. To close our eyes.
But let’s open our eyes. Look around us, there is hope, there is love. Everywhere.
It’s in the patient teachers that hug a sad child, it’s in the stranger that holds open a door and smiles wide, it’s in the little squeeze our kids give our hands before they hop out of the car or hop toward the bus and head to school, it’s in the text from a friend that makes us laugh out loud, it’s in sacrifice those who defend others give. It’s in the big and the small.
Our world is scary, yes. Our world has no shortage of hate, evil and indifference. It would be so easy to just sink, just sink into that despair.
It comes down to two options for us…we either except that truth about the world and live in despair and fear OR we except the truth about the world and use our energy, breath, love and life to make it a better place. To seek out the good in the world and share it. Hope, love, and kindness are contagious, all we have to do is to pass them on…
So do I regret the naive (and admittedly selfish) choice I made to have children?
Children are our hope to make our world a better place. They are our weapon against evil, injustice and hate. Because the love we give them today can live on after us.
In the doors they hold open for others, in the smiles they fill each room with, in the love they pour into the world, in the help they give others, in the lights they light in darkness, in the hugs they give to their children.
So, I’ve closed my news feed and I’m stepping outside to go do some good.