As a mother of three children, two boys and one girl, I truly want to pass on a better world than what we are seeing now. Everyone seems so polarized - politically, financially, spiritually. We attack each other over our differences, which breeds fear and anxiety. And what do we do when we are frightened? We retreat into our own little corners and attack, attack, and attack some more.
We all know this isn't working. And we already know what will help. I mean, how long has it been since The Beatles sang, "All You Need Is Love"? (For all you trivia buffs, the answer is 46 years.) Yet, the second we encounter anyone who seems slightly different from you, our reaction tends to be to attack rather than love. You know you've done it. You've criticized people inside your head even if you didn't let out a peep. I know I certainly have.
So how do we stop this? How do we change the world? I believe the answer is one thought at a time. I think we should all take a good look at the beliefs that's been passed down as truth and really examine them. Ask yourself, "Is it REALLY true? Do I actually want to believe this?"
I want to write a series of posts called "We are Earthlings", so that we can all challenge our old beliefs that separate us and learn to love each other as co-inhabitants of this little planet called Earth. So, here we go. I hope you'll come along with me on this mental roller coaster ride.
Today is my oldest son's birthday, so in honor of him, the first belief I'd like to tackle is the currently rather popular belief that we should be teaching our girls that they "rule". Supposedly, this is supposed to make them feel "empowered". Don't get me wrong, I'm all for gender equality. I'm not suggesting that we should go back to the olden days of male dominance. But the word "equality" is the key here. "Girls Rule" crosses that threshold and suggests that girls are superior than boys. That's when I say, "No, thank you". I want a world where my boys, as well as my daughter, are respected equally.
I see so many grown women these days who treat men as if they are supposed to be their servants. I don't mind parents teaching girls that they are princesses. Every girl IS special and should be worshiped like a princess. But we should also be teaching our children that every boy is special, too, and that he deserve to be worshiped like a prince. Every man is different. Every woman is different. The only thing that isn't different is that everyone deserves respect.
Once the children understand this, it should help immensely when they start dating - though I'm sure some of you would rather not think about that stage yet! :) When my children grow up, I want them to be in a partnership where both parties feel loved and respected. Should the relationship fail, I want them to have the courage to examine what they could have done differently because no one is perfect. And I certainly don't want them to result to the frail excuse of "I just don't understand women" or "If he had treated me better".
Ultimately, I want all our children to learn that the key to happiness lies within themselves. They don't need someone else to make them feel validated, and they certainly don't need to put down the opposite sex to make them feel empowered.
So next time you see or hear comments that tries to distance the sexes, stop and think "Is this true? How would I feel about it if the genders were reversed?" If you don't think you would like it very much, then don't let it continue. Don't pass it on. And most definitely, don't pass it on to our children!
By the way, I'm well aware that in many parts of the world, girls are still treated as second class citizens, if not objects to be owned. Recent series on NPR comes to mind. I certainly want equality for girls like them. I certainly want them to see that their lives matter. I certainly think that girls like that should be encouraged and have role models to follow. As I said before, the word "equality" is the key. We are Earthlings, each and every one of us.