Life is good with lots of bad
Why is it that we wake up nearly every morning to a news story about a shooting in a nightclub or parking lot? Why do we see video on the nightly news of a schoolyard fight or a cop shooting an unarmed citizen or an officer being attacked by a motorist? Why must we hear the sobs of a young girl who has received hateful remarks and even threats on her phone? Why do we read stories about senior citizens being swindled out of their life savings by people who have no conscience—or hear about a toddler being nabbed from a shopping cart? Have we witnessed these incidents so often that we shake our heads in disbelief and accept this behavior as just part of life?
It is what it is
Is it just part of life these days? Is it just that there’s a lot of meanness out there—you have to be careful? How can we turn these things into life lessons that will benefit our kids and the world they will inherit? How do we upright this listing ship of state, a vessel that appears to be gradually sinking?
Where the door is ajar
It starts at home. Corporations crumble. Businesses fail. Factories sit idle. Churches stagnate from sameness and lack of creativity. Schools deteriorate, and education succumbs to order and conformity. While the institution of the family itself is barely holding together, it is the one place where people are bonded by flesh and blood. It is the one place where most of its members return at the end of the day. Family is frequently where there are outstretched arms waiting to smother one of its own in love. There is always family, whether it consists of 20 people or two.
Parents, we have to teach our children to care – to care about themselves, about others and about life itself. We must teach them empathy – to place themselves in the shoes of someone less fortunate or who’s being persecuted. We must teach them to recognize others who are slogging to make a positive difference in the world – the teacher who keeps looking for and tapping into potential – the clerk who greets everyone with a smile – the person who stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves – the dad or mom who insists that their child strive for excellence and treat all others as he or she would like to be treated.
Yeah, be that mom and dad … mom and dad.
Tom Tozer and Bill Black are authors of the new book, “Dads2Dads: Tools for Raising Teenagers.” Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @dads2dadsllc. Contact them at [email protected]