Monthly Archives: July 2007

Walk a mile in my shoes…

Ever wondered what it would be like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? When I was a child, I enjoyed trying to walk in my father’s worn, leather work boots. Even with tightening the long, leather laces, it took great effort to keep my toes curled and at the same time, lift those heavy boots and walk. Sometimes I fell on my face and sometimes I fell on my bum, and sometimes I just stood tall.

Ever wondered what it would be like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Ever wondered what it would be like to be the only white person in a shopping mall?  Ever wondered what it would be like to be the only black child in town? Ever wondered what it would be like to watch a clerk come out from behind the counter to watch your African American son pick out his favorite pack of gum? Of course there are already several children in the isle doing the same thing but their color is pale. Ever wondered what it’s like to be the only one not understanding the conversation, the laughter, either because you can’t hear or because you speak another language? Ever wondered what it would be like to go to school in a wheelchair? Ever wondered what it would be like to be different enough, that every time you enter a small town restaurant everyone pauses to stare?

Frankly, I wouldn’t want to trade life shoes with anyone else, mine are difficult enough. I still fall on my face, bounce on my bum and struggle to regain my composure. It makes sense to make friends with our walking shoes, change what we can, accept what we cannot, and be kind to those whose walk is different. Those who manage this simple philosophy, can stand tall in whatever size boot he or she wears. Size 8 anybody?    © 2007

 

Advertisements

Influencing your child’s faith…

Sometimes parents will say that they don’t take their children to church because they don’t want to influence their child towards one particular religion. There is one big problem with this kind of thinking. No influence means no choice!

If it is really the parents’ desire to remain neutral, the parent would take the child to a variety of churches or religions so that the child is familiar with the differences. This says to the child that faith is important, and there are a variety of ways to believe as well as act on one’s faith. Adequate information and experience helps one to make an informed choice.

To not teach a child about faith in God, is truly not giving the child a choice. Parents who choose not to influence their children when they are still dependents, have not thought through the results of their rationale.

Most parents, teach their children how to take care of their physical needs: change their clothes, bathe, brush their teeth, comb their hair, eat a balanced meal. Have you ever heard a parent say, “I don’t want to influence my child in his/her grooming habits?”

Most parents encourage their child’s interests, whether it be artistic, music, athletic or scientific activities. Have you ever heard a parent say, “I don’t want to encourage my child in any particular activities, I think he or she should be able to choose music, art or athletics when they are older?”

Most parents encourage their child to do well in school, do their homework, get good grades. Have you ever heard a parent say, “I don’t want to influence my child in their learning ability? I want them to decide how smart they want to be when they grow up?”

When it comes to nurturing faith in God, nurturing moral and ethical decision making, why do so many parents retreat or run to the hills on this issue? Is it a backlash to the rigid fundamentalism we’ve all been exposed to? Is it because parents were not adequately prepared as children and they pass this inadequacy along to the next generation? Are parents simply not convinced that children have spiritual needs too?

If you are a parent or plan to be one soon, listen up! If you don’t influence your child from day one till the time they move out, everyone else will! Their friends, advertising, TV, music, teachers, coaches, did I say friends??? If you don’t nurture their spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional needs, everyone else will!!

There is no place for being neutral in this day and age! Your son or daughter is being bombarded with the values of others and our culture. You must be focused on nurturing basic life skills so that your child has the tools to make wise decisions and face life on his/her own. If you are going to retreat and leave that job to someone else, rest assured, someone will!!