Saturday, September 10, 2011

Beacons of Hope

True story... 
A little girl comes home from her first day of kindergarten and proclaims that the Jonas Brothers are "SO hot". 
Her mother asks where she heard that.  
The daughter responds that a girl in her class -- whose sister is a freshman in high school -- told her all about the Jonas Brothers.    
The mother asks her daughter if she knows what it means that the Jonas Brothers are "SO hot".  
The daughter says she isn't so sure, but she guesses that it must mean they don't have any air conditioning. 
These are the situations in which parents are reminded just how innocent their children are.  
As I watch my own daughter grow day in and day out, I'm filled with a sense of hope.  When I see her wave to a stranger on the street, or say hello to someone in an elevator, I'm inspired to believe that humanity is inherently good.  That -- despite all the evil we have witnessed as a society -- there is still goodness in the world.  Because nine times out of ten, that stranger on the street will wave back, that person in the elevator will smile and say hello... even if they're late for a meeting, or their car broke down that morning, or they simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed.   
It's because our children give us hope. They remind us that life is beautiful.  They teach us to be better people and make us want to right our wrongs.
They're not cynical or jaded. They don't know hate. They don't seek revenge. They don't judge. They're not greedy or jealous.
Children teach us that laughter is the best medicine. 
That giving is better than receiving.  
That money can't buy happiness. 
That all you need is love.   
They remind us that we can eat chocolate for breakfast.
That the rain won't melt us.  
That books can take us to magical places.  
That we all start out the same way.  
They teach us to live in the moment. 
To be thankful for what we have. 
To sometimes break the rules. 
Children turn skeptics into believers.
They make grown men weep. 
They inspire us to splash in puddles and color outside the lines.
They don't care how much money you make or what god you pray to.
They aren't the least bit interested in the color of your skin or your sexual preference.  
Our children give us hope.  Hope that we will learn from the past.  Hope that we will build a better future.  Hope that we will be more accepting and more understanding of one another.  
Our children give us hope.  And our children help us heal.   

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