I wrote most of this after the sandy hook shooting, but in light of the recent shootings across the country, I felt like maybe I should finally post it.
Please, teach your children not to hate. Teach them that it’s not ok to pretend to shoot other people with guns, because guns kill things. Whether you shoot a target, food, or human, guns destroy, and guns kill. That is not something to take lightly. Teach them that violence really isn’t the answer. Teach them that words are more powerful. That that’s the only way to stop pain. Violence causes pain and that is something no man truly deserves. If you take the road of violence, you may hurt your victim more, but make no mistake, you will both suffer pain. Teach them that unkind words cannot be unsaid. Teach them that although they don’t cause physical pain, they can cause emotional pain. Emotional pain is different than physical pain. Physical pain heals with time, but Emotional pain festers and grows. Physical pain can be all consuming in an instant, but emotional pain grows to consume all. Physical violence can end lives, but emotional violence can destroy them just as thoroughly.
Teach your children, instead, to love. Teach them to recognize that we are all part of the same family of men. Teach them that just because someone thinks differently than them, it does not mean either of them is necessarily wrong. Teach them that when they put others down to pull themselves up, all of humanity sinks under the weight of their selfishness, but when we all work together, we can rise together to heights unimagined. Teach them to help others in need, to heal the wounds of others so that we may all, one day, be whole. Please, parents, teach your children to love.
“And these three things remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.”