“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Chaos and shattered windows. Day to day this was my life growing up. Don’t get it wrong though; my parents tried their best to raise me in the good old suburbs, where there were kids running around playing with bikes, marbles and maybe even kites on those special days. Fast forward to today, I find time has flipped the switch on all that.
Here comes in the chaos and shattered windows. I loved kicking in soccer balls through my neighbor’s windows, and afterwards there was always a consequence (it usually led to a lashing on the best of times).
All the way through, I braved it all and never snitched. I knew it was my fault, and I took that blame all the way through. Years have passed, and my loyalty to my code still exists; stronger than ever. My parents instilled the virtue of morality at a young age in me; though it came in the oddest of lessons.
So here I am, watching little 10-month old Sam slowly put a doll head in her mouth right before I take it out, and I can’t help but wonder who she will be when she grows up. Will she be a relentless leader hungry for power, or will she be a humanitarian who helps wherever she can to whomever she can? Sometimes I cannot help but consider how much she takes after her mother, and though we separated, there are a few amazing qualities that I would wish to see in her as the years fly by. Tenacity and a taste for curiosity of course are at the top of the list.
Questions like these must cross a parent’s mind time to time as we watch our young ones mold into their adult selves. Maybe we even worry a little over how their social attributes affect the way they live today and in the future.
In the country I love spending most of my time in, Kenya, I see similar traits in all the youth. They spend most of their time in prayer and devote their strength and energies to the wrong sense of leadership. They do not stick to their moral code; even if they have one. The youth demolish public and private property, dealing with the police in brutality that is returned in kind, treating each other like savages with no tear of humanity in them.
Bring this on a wider scope. The world today is in turmoil. Leaders of industry as well as nations declare war on each other, while our children suffer at their hands in war. We follow leaders who are in a power grab and care not for their fellow men, and yet when our children hurt, we turn to religion to find an answer. In a world that is on the edge, with visionaries bringing the thought of space colonization, it is chaos and shattered windows all over again, with the missing puzzle piece of loyalty to the inner self.
This goes out to all parents reading this. You did not bring your child into this world to push pencils and grind paperwork. You did not bring your beautiful bundle of joy to grab from others or enjoy the suffering of the ones less fortunate. Your child is the greatest accomplishment of your life, and in the deepest part of you, you want them to be better than you.
Look outside your window. Do you see a bright future that your child can help build for humanity, or is it a case of crushed dreams and broken promises? What we teach our children resonates in the future generations.
As young as they are, we as parents have the duty of care to nurture and guide. Maybe someday, perhaps not in our lifetime, but years after we are gone, we will have written a verse in the play of humanity, and it will be glorious to watch from whatever afterlife we find on the other side.
As I play with Samantha and help her walk, I can only heed to my code, and help her be the best that she could be.
Someday, she will run. And I will be there.