Thursday, March 30, 2017

Infectious Love

Originally published on Facebook, January 29, 2017.

Elijah, my almost 8 year old, asked me why I was upset yesterday. He and his 10 year old sister have learned about the refugee crisis in school, and so I explained to them why I was upset in the simplest terms possible, that our president declared that we would not allow many of these refugees into our country right now. I explained that homes and lives were ready for some of these refugees and that they were being turned away, some of them even at our airports. Elijah, with a look of utter shock and dismay on his face, immediately said, "Mama, I think you're going to have to go march again."
I smiled and told him that, yes, people were protesting. I also told him we would do a lot of things. We would speak out. We would write and call our legislators, our voice in the government. We would donate money to organizations who will help fight for these people in court. We would do all things, but I needed them to do something really, really big.
I told them I needed them to be the bravest and kindest kids they know and that I would be the bravest and kindest person I know. We talked about how we have to reach out to and support people who are different from us, every day and in every way. We talked about making sure someone isn't excluded or hurt at school because they don't look, act, or live like someone else. I told them that by doing that they could change the world.
Rebekah looked at me skeptically. Her face seemed to say, "change the world? yea right." So I tried to explain how meanness and anger can spread, but Elijah took over for me. He explained about how they read a book in guidance class at school about a boy who was being a bully at school. He said the boy wasn't a mean person, but he was acting mean because his sister was being mean to him at home. I said, YES! And just like meanness and anger can spread and make us meaner and angrier, kindness and love can spread. Elijah exclaimed, "LIKE AN INFECTION!"
Yes, like an infection. These kids are going to INFECT the world with kindness, love, and bravery, and they ARE going to change the world.

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