Politics and Parenting - can we keep them separate?
Do we want to?
I am recoding Thursday, Feb 22, a week ago, a community woke up to realize that the tragedy that had rocked their community the day before was not a nightmare. 19 year old Nicholas Cruz showed up at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people. Kids, adults, 17 people who are now being grieved by friends and family….
I am done with this headline
I am also done with feeling like I can’t speak my truth for fear of offending people.
I dove into following the teens that have been energized into action.
I posted my thoughts on my personal FB page.
Wednesday, I posted on my IG account and linked the post to my FB Biz page.
I posted a meme that said “The children almost broken by the world will become the adults who save it.” Crediting Frank Warren for the quote. Here is the post I wrote:
So here is how I am feeling.... My kids aren’t broken, HOWEVER this school shooting/random acts of violence BS had got to stop. Humans are hurting, guns are too available, schools aren’t secure - there is a lot going on under the surface here. I will no longer complain about it, I will ACT. I will be IN ACTION. And with this action I will inspire others to see how THEY can act, including the two that matter most to me.
Rowan and Ian, I love you. I will fight for you. I will get uncomfortable, and curious, and let go of what people think to fight for YOUR future and YOUR safety. You, and ALL kids deserve this from the adults that came before you.
I got one reply from one of my followers asking me to not get political. She acknowledged that wasn’t why she followed me and advised me to continue on as the resource I am in creating change. She was totally respectful in her tone, however, she was clear with her message.
Sorry, not sorry. I will not be silent. I am a political being. I speak about things that relate to the public affairs of our country. WE ARE RAISING ADULTS – future leaders and citizens of the world – how is that not political???
I don’t imagine that everyone who follows Joyful Courage share all of my views. I am guessing that you all realize that I am a flaming liberal – and if you didn’t, well, cats out of the bag.
- I support dignity and respect for all humans.
- Black lives matter to me.
- Immigrant lives matter to me.
- Woman having equal rights, including rights over their body matters to me.
- I believe that people have the right to gather and worship in a way that works for them.
- I believe in climate change and the duty we ALL have to honor the earth.
- I believe that people who are raised to feel connected, loved and as though they matter don’t show up at public or private events with the intent to kill.
- I do not believe that private citizens have the right to own weapons of war.
- I believe our schools should be safe and secure.
- I do not believe that teachers should have guns.
- I believe in a health care system that is proactive in supporting the mentally ill.
- I believe in compassion.
- I believe in civic action.
Some of what I just shared may turn you off to my work and my message. I hope it doesn’t, because at the most foundational level, I believe in love – living it, spreading it, being it. And that is what will save the world.
“Love thy neighbor as thyself” is a message of all major religions – and when THIS is our come-from, when THIS message is what we start to live, the world will be healed.
And I acknowledge that it isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to put ourselves out there and speak our truths
- we don’t want to offend
- we don’t want to argue
- we worry about what people think
- we want everyone to be comfortable
And right now the environment is so TOXIC! It is so challenging to talk about the issues that matter the most to us. It is scary to get vulnerable and say what we need to say, to lead from the front.
Today I declare that I am no longer going to worry about ruffling feathers. I will continue to share the content that you have come to love, and I will elevate it by pushing my fear aside.
I will bring more of myself.
I will bring more of my authenticity and truth.
I will leave behind wanting everyone to like me.
I am done with school shootings, and my guess is you are too.
It is time to have hard conversations.
It is time to look for solutions.
It is time to get involved, ask questions, reach out and trust that your voice is valued.
Humans are hurting.
Weapons of war are too available.
Schools aren’t secure.
So lets do something about it.
Here is what I have done over the past few days….
- I emailed the admin team at my daughters HS to voice my concern and to educate myself around what is already in place. I also offered myself as a community member to partner with them to be in deeper relationships with parents and community about how they are keeping our kids safe, including fostering a sense of belonging.
- I put the monthly principal/parent meet-and-greets on my calendar so that I would go. I am not planning on being on the outside looking in anymore. I want those administrators to know me by name. I want to support them, challenge them and work with them to make my kids schools better
- I put in a call to our district “safety and risk assessment” person. I left a message and will follow up with an email. Again, I invited myself into the conversation and offered myself as a partner in the work he is already doing.
- I emailed out local “community coalition” about an idea of have for running a film festival in our town to highlight documentaries that invite conversations around teens and screens, toxic masculinity, the message our girls are getting, and anxiety. I am going to foster community conversations about the things so many of us have opinions and fears about but ARENT TALKING ABOUT.
- All of this on top of calling my representative and showing up to meetings and rallies for smarter gun laws….
This may not have been why you tuned into the podcast today. I thought I gave a pretty good heads up with the title “Parenting and Politics”. The good news is there are over 100 other episodes you can turn to today for parenting tips and inspiration.
Today is about action.
Thank you for listening. I feel as though it is my responsibility to speak these truth, it is my responsibility to not pretend that all is well and good and that the world our children are inheriting is going to magically be peaceful.
We are in the creation of the world we live in. Everything we do is part of the creation.
- What we buy
- Who we vote for
- Whether or not we speak up when we get that intuitive hit that what we are witnessing is wrong
We are in the creation even when WE DO NOTHING. Even when we turn away because it is too hard, or too scary, or too vulnerable – we are STILL in the creation of the world we live in.
I choose to be in action. And I hope you join me.
Chaos to Calm
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