How we’ll teach our children

mogz

There’s an unrest in our country right now. For the first time in the seven years we’ve been together, Jon and I have taken part in conversations about what our Plan B would be should we need to flee the country. Not because of the crime, or the racist wars currently happening (more on that in a bit), but because of the economy, the corrupt government, the deteriorating municipalities, the failing education system. The talk was that our country is in turmoil and for the first time in my life I’m taking an interest in it, which I guess I could put down to being a mature parent now. We recently sat at a dinner party with several couples and at least 4 couples were declaring which countries they’d already begun procedures of moving to. 4 couples out of 10. That’s pretty sad, you guys.

I’ve not thought about leaving the country in years, and it’s not something I take lightly – I learnt this years ago and have been very patriotic ever since. So to be having these conversations feels wrong, like I’m betraying my country. I’m aware that we’re very much part of the privileged groups, and for that I feel grateful. Yes, I’ve worked hard to get where I am, but others have worked harder and still weren’t afforded the opportunities I was. So I own up to this and am not afraid to say that I’m privileged, as guilty as I do sometimes feel. But if things continue going this way, I don’t think we could maintain our current lifestyle – the exchange rate is doing us all harm and prices are increasing daily. We already pay a mountain of cash for Aiden’s schooling and he’s only there to wee and grin at his baby friends, so I can’t begin to imagine how much we’ll fork out for his actual schooling education, uniforms and extra murals if this economy doesn’t improve.

And then there’s the race war. I am ashamed. I am revolted. I am sad for the victims. How can any human be so cruel with their thinking to believe one race is better than another just based on the colour of skin. The racism coming from both ends is sickening. But we need to remember that one voice doesn’t speak for a whole nation and that generalising is probably the reason we’re having this debate in the first place. I wish everyone understood that lumping a whole group of people under one label is where all problems begin. Every person on earth has their own set of morals, values and intentions. To presume that people are lesser humans based on their  skin colour is unfair and wrong. Racism is shit, no matter who’s doing it. We should stand up to it all. There are some of us who choose not to think that way, and those are the ones that need to stand up now.I wrote a whole essay about it here on Facebook, so I won’t repeat myself, but the point of raising it here on my blog is to talk about how I’d want to handle this with my son, Aiden.

This morning I watched as Aiden reached out for Mogzi, our cat, and tried to bang his rattle over her head. If he were sitting at a table he’d have tried to do the same thing to see if it made a noise, it’s his latest milestone and an important one according to some of my (million) parenting apps. Just as I gently took his hand and showed him how to stroke the kitty softly, I realised I was teaching him an important lesson: be kind to animals. It was natural for me to instinctively stop him before he inadvertently hurt Mogz, to teach him a kinder method of interacting with her. Which lead me to wonder how I will teach my son this same lesson, but with humans. It’s easy to show my baby how to stroke the cat softly, but imagine trying to translate the same thing with humans, somehow “just stroke him gently” doesn’t seem like a good idea.

I guess Jon and I, as well as all of Aiden’s family, would need to demonstrate it through our interactions with people so that we lead by example. It is a huge responsibility and one I undertake seriously and with pride. I want to raise my child to be loving, accepting and kind. I want him to be generous when possible, understanding to a fault, fair to all and firm when necessary. I want him to be brave enough to stand up to bullies, and honest enough to admit the truth when it scares him. I want him to fight against racism and help others.

But before all of that, I’ve realised that I’ll need to learn this myself in order to show him how.

 

2 comments

  1. Angel says:

    The constant race “war” in our country makes me very sad. And it’s from all sides. That idiot Penny was lambasted over her rhetoric, but another woman on Twitter who “hates whites” and will raise her son “to be a soldier so he can kill whites” is ignored. :-/
    As for leaving the country… It’s a bit easier now my knucklehead is a grown up, moving my furbabies will cost a fortune!
    Teaching tolerance is difficult with many outside influences… And children learn more from what they see, than what they are told.
    Angel recently posted…My Granny Darling and MeMy Profile

  2. Cassey says:

    We’re focusing on him acknowledging everyone, and it starts with him saying hi back or nodding. It’s a small step to get him to remember everyone is a person worthy of a greeting…and hopefully it builds on from there.
    Cassey recently posted…Zombie prompt 1My Profile

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