It’s no longer enough for people to be non-violent, to not add to the problem. We need people who will work against violence.
In order for those people to exist, we need to help shape them.
Our children can grow up to be the generation that says enough is enough. To say that human beings are smart enough and kind enough and brave enough to say no to prejudice and hate. It’s such a very big problem, but let’s do what we can to end it.
I pledge to never laugh at a racist or sexist joke, even if it makes things awkward.
I pledge to say what I believe instead. Our children are watching and listening, always. It’s not enough to not be the one making the joke. It’s not enough to be silent.
I pledge to seek out diverse schools and churches and communities for my son to be a part of. Because it’s knowing real people, of all kinds, on a personal level, that puts a stop to hate.
I pledge to talk about race in our house, even if it makes me uncomfortable.
I pledge to read books and listen to music and admire art from all different cultures with my son.
I pledge to celebrate different cultures by cooking their recipes and going to eat their food at authentic restaurants because food brings us together and gives us a glimpse into the beauty of different groups of people.
I pledge to talk to him about bullying, about standing up for people, and about connecting with people who are different, or who may look different, but really have so much in common.
I pledge to do everything I possibly can to raise a child who will not only not add to the violence of the world, but who will do what he can to stop it.
It’s a scary world out there and it’s easy to feel like we can’t do anything to make it better. But we can, and we should. We can do a million mundane, seemingly insignificant things that help shape our children every day, and add up to something real.
We have a big, often daunting, job trying to talk to our children about everything that’s going on. But we also have an awesome responsibility and a beautiful opportunity to help them be the kind of people who will work hard to build a better future.
It’s never too early to start the conversation.