Several weeks ago a friend of mine posed this question. “If you had thirty seconds to speak to the world, what would you say?” I’ve pondered this question a lot over the last few weeks. Especially with all of the current events that are taking place.
When you turn on the daily news, pick up a paper, check out Facebook . . . you are exposed to current events. Unfortunately, most of those current events are disturbing.
I don’t know why but the things that stick out the most, the things that are most titillating are negative. Each topic we are presented with, from the political situation in this country to ISIS, from Russia and China to gun control, from sexual preference to religious rights, the news items that we are being inundated with all appear to be spun from a negative perspective.
Even when good people on two sides of an issue are debating a point, the debate seems to spiral into negativity. Name calling and inability to compromise seem to be the calling cards of today’s society.
So when my friend posed the simple question, “If I had 30 seconds to talk to the world”, my first inclination was “Be a great parent.” You see I am a firm believer that society is a reflection of the family. Society is based on the family and on the principles that children learn from their earliest teachers . . . their parents.
Parents teach children how to behave, how to share, how to get along, how to care for others. Children learn this from an early age. When parents do their job well, children learn how to get along and merge into society. My first thought was if everyone focused on being great parents, we would begin to influence the society of 2040. We would be laying the building blocks that will perhaps turn around the anger and animosity with which the world appears to be so encumbered.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that being a great parent isn’t enough. You see each culture has a different idea of what parenting provides. So instead of just being a great parent, I would modify my message to be a great parent and teach your children how to love.
We need more love in the world, love that listens, love that cares, love that provides, love that compromises. It seems that the issues that are constantly pushed in our faces all stem from someone who did not experience love; from the disturbed shooter, to those who shout and scream their displeasure with one another under placards. If we truly focused on loving one another perhaps many of the issues we face today would subside. So my message began to change . . . from “Be a great parent” to “Teach your children to love . . . openly, freely, and without pause.”
But as I penned this post I realized something. Children innately know how to love. They love naturally, they know love and feel love in the womb, they know and feel love from their earliest breath. Small children smile and laugh and give the best hugs, because they know how to love. It is only through adults that they learn mistrust, animosity, anger, hatred. We teach them how to survive in society by being suspicious of others.
So as I close, my message has changed again. If I had 30 seconds to speak to the world, I would say, “Be great parents, learn to love from your children and show that love to those you meet, even the ones with whom you disagree.” You see, 2040 is almost a generation away. What we need is the ability to influence the society of 2016.
Perhaps if everyone in the world heard that message and carried it out, we would all smile and laugh and give the best hugs, because we have learned from our children the best lesson of all . . . Love.