Everywhere we look these days, it is primarily upsetting news. We cannot flip through the telly or even check Facebook without coming across the horrors facing this world. From bombs to gunfire, and kidnappings to plane crashes, the horror stories are endless.
What is alarming is the fact that human brutality seems to be on the rise. And we have to wonder what happened to make them reach this point. Somewhere along the journey of life, they lost the way, and turned from innocence to demons.
And now when you have a child, you inadvertently wonder what if it had been you or your child. What is you child was the one who was hurt, or been involved. How do we deal with this?
And that leads to the question of how we want their future to be. Knowing full well that we cant be there to protect them, we need to prepare them for what the challenges they will face. Of course we pray they grow up in a world full of rainbow and unicorns, a utopian paradise, with a fair, just and egalitarian society, but life just does not work that way.
From bullying to racism, to economic disparity, our children will have to go through varied experiences at different stages of life. We cannot deny that these are facts of life, and that there is no way around it. We need to be able to teach them to rise above it, and emerge as a better person. Easier said than done no?
I think the change starts with us, with you and me. With parents, and the lessons we teach our children. There is a need to be more open-minded, and more accepting. To show them that sometimes things may not go the way we want it to, but that we have the power to move on, and rebuild.
We have to be more careful, and know that these young impressionable minds learn from us even when we are not in the process of “teaching”. What we say, what we do, matters. We might be making an innocuous comment about someone’s orientation or religion, without giving it due thought, but children might take that as gospel. So be careful.
That said, we should not take away the beauty of this world away. We should not scare them. Tell our children that for every act of cruelty, there are a million acts of humanity, for every tear that’s shed, there are millions sharing a smile. Share stories of courage, of happiness, of strength and unity.Children need to know that the world is a beautiful place, even with all the madness that goes on.
We need our babies to know that there is goodness all around us. There are helping hands, and big hearts, love and laughter, care and concern. Teach them that the world is a paradox of sorts, but one where the light of positivity will always shine through.
Show them it is okay to be different, for them, or the people around them. Show them that people come in all shapes and sizes, all colors and faiths, and that none of that really matters. Have discussions – about different religions, about different cultures. Tell them that diversity is really the essence of life, and what makes this world a wonderful place.
Our children needs to know perspectives; travel the world, look around, show them that there are many who are less fortunate. Highlight the fact that they are lucky to have what they have, and to be grateful, but not entitled. Tell them that they are the center if your world. By all means, let them know how much you value them, but tell them that the world doesn’t revolve around them.
Kindness and charity begins at home, and it goes a long way in shaping our little ones into adults who can carry the world forward. Politeness, and courtesy – show, don’t tell. Teach them that respect and empathy are important, that compassion is non-negotiable, and that hate is not an option. Always keep in mind, that they are always watching and learning from you. These values shouldn’t be setting our children apart, for these values need to be the norm among all young ones. And for that, the onus lies on us – the parents. For the world to be a better place, we need to better ourselves.
In spite of everything that is going on around us, I know tomorrow will be different. When I look into the face of my child, I don’t feel fear for him in the big bad world, I see hope and optimism; I see a bright new world of harmony, and compassion; one where differences are encouraged, and valued and respected, one of acceptance and inclusivity.
I see the world that we envisioned for ourselves, but didn’t succeed in achieving. And for this to be a reality, the change needs to start with you.
Love this post and so true. While we are not ignorant of the evils present here it’s still the truth that the world is indeed a place full of goodness and we see the beauty of it everyday all around us
I would like to share the link of the TED talk of the creator of the page Humans of New York where he tells us that most of the evil portrayed in the media is just sensationalism of the extreme elements and beyond that there is actually a lot of good in this world. And am sure your son will grow to be a contributor to it with an amazing mom like you
Thank you so much 🙂
Brandon and HONY are truly inspirational. It is incredible how he finds all these unique happy stories!
I had this fear fr a really long time when whenever me n hubby talked abt having children..i always questioned look at hw d world has bcme n i wouldn’t want a kid to grow up in such a brutal world..but then there is good too and change begins at home and from within first..
I hope our kids contribute towards d good fr d society
Inshallah. Our kids will help build and be part of a better future 🙂
I can only pray that God gives me the ability to raise my little girl and future children to be kind, polite and respectful and to be people who lead by a good example and encourage good things.
My prayers are the same :), that we all raise to the standards we envision, and that we can teach them kindness and compassion..
This was a well written piece. I’m a firm believer that it all starts at home too. Kids naturally love but they learn hate. Now from here, parents can nurture this hate or can reverse this and bring back the love within the child’s nature. I believe that we are were we are today because hate was more nurtured than love.
Call me an optimistic, but love will eventually win.
I am an optimist too! Bit also a realist, and truly believe that we as parents can definitely teach love and ensure that the world is a better place!
As a teacher I find the happiest, kindest most confident pupils are the ones who have parents who are involved in their lives and who show them that it’s good to succeed and ok to fail. That you should be rewarded but also suffer consequences if you do wrong and most importantly that you don’t have to get along with everyone but you need to learn tolerance.
Tolerance, kindness and compassion are absolutely non negotiable, and we as parents and teachers can make that difference. Here’s to a better tomorrow!
A very well written piece. Parenting is harder with all the brutality and negativity the kids get exposed to in today’s world. I pray that Allah gives me the strength and guidance to do this most important job in the best possible way. Ameen.
Each day, the news brings more horror stories, and babies (my own) and others around me gives me hope.
Inshallah, they will change the world.
So true about kids absorbing every stray comment and action of adults. Growing up my mom had never talked about skin colour ever. I do not notice people’s skin colour cos of that. Even mine for that matter until in grade 10 someone said something offensive about my brown skin. And then I understood the world of racism. I am so grateful for my mom for not putting the seeds of racism in us , even the subtle ones, so common in the desi world.
That is how I would like to bring my daughter up.. to be open to all irrespective of differences. May God help us to!
Very valid point actually!
It is households where there are negative vibes (even done without intending malice) that make children think its all okay to be rude/crass.