Dear Lovies (Yes, I’ll call you lovies even in your 20s),
It seems like only yesterday we were sitting around our kitchen table talking about your days in school. Those are still some of my favorite memories and they always provided such great opportunities to really talk about things that mattered. We talked about women’s rights when Malala was in the news. We brainstormed ways to be more responsible with water when clean water in Africa was part of your school service learning project. We learned a lot about strength and kindness when there was a hurricane or tornado that tore apart someone’s hometown. You saw my anger and sometimes, I’ll admit, hopelessness when the talks turned to the racial injustices that lead to the murdering of black boys and men. And who can forget the conversations about self-esteem and respect for others that came out of those painful weeks every spring where you were immersed in sex-ed classes at school? Talk about honesty. Whoa.
We talked so much when you were younger. You asked questions and we did our best to answer. I’ll admit I tried to eek out every teachable second I could from those conversations. Your dad and I wanted you to learn empathy and a sense of honor. We wanted you to grow up to be people who cared enough about your neighbors that you were willing to work to make the world better, not just for yourselves, but for them as well. We wanted to raise you with global minds and sense of duty to your fellow human.
I will be honest and say I struggled back then with what to do with our world that very often felt like it was coming apart. I worried that you were inheriting a planet where you may not be able to breathe through the environmental toxins or survive the political chaos that comes from citizens who are unhappy with their lot in life. It all seemed so big at the time, insurmountable even, and I worried, that not only was I powerless to change anything, but by teaching you to be responsible citizens of the world, I was placing on you too large a burden to bear.
Alas, here we are 15 years later in our lives and you are all making your own kind of difference. You fight for global equality for women. You maintain the civil liberties of ALL citizens and you treat the planet like you are meant to leave it better than you found it. The results are, that by doing your own small part, you have made an impact on the larger world. Through you, I’ve learned it isn’t insurmountable. Small groups doing big things can indeed turn around what seems permanently damaged. Never underestimate the power of even one concerned global citizen.
Back then I thought my small part would be teaching you. It seems, all those dinner-time talks around the table helped shape you into the activists that you are today and for that I am ever grateful. You three have shown me that no one is too small to make an impact. No idea is unimportant and anyone with the drive can change the world.
Dad and I meant to be teaching you at all those family dinners when you were young. Instead, the teachers were you.
The United Nations Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, BabyCenter and The Huffington Post created the Global Moms Relay with a goal of improving the lives of women and children around the globe. Each time you ‘like’ or share a Global Moms Relay post via the social media icons or comment, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action) up to $300,000, to improve the health and wellbeing of moms and kids worldwide through MAMA, Shot@Life, UNICE
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