Charlottesville- The Ugly, The Bad...and The Good? People STOOD UP
This past weekend, in Charlottesville, Virginia, a group of people gathered to protest the removal of a statue that the city felt had come to represent values that no longer reflected the sentiments of its’ people. The protesters proudly carried symbols and signs of hate, chanting words that honestly, most of us never thought would be spoken again.
THAT…is The Ugly…the thing we don’t want to acknowledge is still happening and don’t want to look at.
A city that I used to associate with The Dave Matthews Band and that some of my friends used to refer to as the home of THE University (although, as a JMU Grad, I would beg to differ)…has now become another example of a country some would say has gone mad.
And a young woman, named Heather Heyer, died- and several others were injured.
THAT is The Bad…the TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD, BAD.
Now, some of you may be thinking- didn’t I sign up with For-Purpose Kids to read about how to get my kids more involved in the community, with giving and volunteering? I see enough of this “political” or “social activism” stuff on my Newsfeed...why are they talking about it here?
Because it’s important…and it’s important for our kids. This isn’t about politics or religious beliefs- it’s about basic human rights. It’s about treating others with respect, love and kindness, which is how all of us deserve to be treated.
One of the things we talk about with the “Champions” of For-Purpose Kids is the power that we, as adults, have to be an example for the next generation. If we choose to stay silent about these uncomfortable issues and topics, what does that say to our kids? Our kids are watching…and what do you think they see?
If they are seeing what I’m seeing- they’re scared and confused. They are seeing things that don’t make sense and seem to go against everything they’ve been learning.
I want to share an excerpt from a social media post I read from a dear friend regarding how Charlottesville affected her family this weekend. You may have seen this woman’s review of For-Purpose Kids on our social media pages this week- and you may have seen a collage of how her daughter is taking action to become a For-Purpose Kid. This woman is brave, she is strong and although it breaks my heart that she has to have these conversations in 2017, she is showing up to talk to her kids about what they are seeing, she is making a call to action and she is teaching her kids to be brave:
“Yesterday I had some of the most difficult conversations I've had thus far with two beautiful fantastic children who couldn't understand why anyone would hate someone just because of what they look like. I had to explain what flags meant, what words spoken meant, and why the president wasn't doing or saying something. Yes, part of this is because they overheard/saw some media creating the whirlwinds they are paid to create, but some of it is a harsh reality. There is still racism and hate in this world. There is still a lot of work to do here in America. We must come together as people and continue to make efforts to bridge the divides.
Looking into my babies eyes I know that the work may be difficult, but it's worth it. I encourage those that really truly love my family and other families of color to find something, no matter how small, that you can do to be a bridge builder today. Talk to someone you fear because you've been taught to fear them, serve in your community, work with the youth and help them find the gifts and talents that make them special, work with a union or faith-based organizing/action-based group that understands this world is wonderful because of its people (ALL people), and question your own thought patterns. “
So what’s the Good in all of this?
The Good is that two students were brave enough to document what they saw on Friday night and spread the word to those that wanted to come and show support for ALL people on Saturday. The Good is that hundreds of people showed up and “counter-protested” what happened on Friday night. The Good is that we are talking about it and hopefully beginning to shed some light on “The Ugly” that is very much a part of our American society. The Good is that we can heed these “Calls to Action” and get involved- and get our kids involved too. What better way to affect change than by teaching our kids, from an early age, how to be kind, respectful and loving towards ALL? THIS is why For-Purpose Kids is talking about Charlottesville.
THIS…is The Good.
Here is where we usually include a list of things to do to involve your kids in the community, to give back and volunteer as For-Purpose Kids- because that's what we’re all about and we KNOW that getting our kids involved in the community at an early age will have a HUGE impact on the future. But you can find a lot of that stuff in our past blog posts and on our website (www.for-purposekids.com), so in this post, we’re going to do something a little different. We’re going to suggest that you take 30 minutes out of your day and listen to this Facebook Live Video* (click here), from Brené Brown, that she posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, entitled “We need to keep talking about Charlottesville”. WHY? Because it’s important…and it’s important for our kids…you’ll see what I mean when you watch.
*Just a heads up here, if you are not familiar with Brené Brown- she is REAL. And with REAL comes REAL language, so you may want to listen while the kids are sleeping, or in the other room. While there is not a lot of profanity, there is some. And if any of you are questioning why, as a kid’s brand, we have chosen to include something with this language and content on our blog, it’s because we believe in authenticity (something we learned from Ms. Brown)…and because we feel it’s time.
So for our parting words today…we’ll leave you with this.
We have a choice as to how we show up for our kids…
Today, we choose to represent The Good. What will you choose?
For-Purpose Kids, Inspiring Kids to be Kind since 2016.
Excellent. Very well said. This absolutely has to be spoken about with our children. If we want them to go out and serve others, they need to understand that that means ALL others. I think it’s important for children to know that there will be people with different values than ours but that it is our obligation as humans to teach love and service even in the face of hatred and bigotry.
Well said, fellow JMU-er. :) all Virginians feel a lot of shame that this event is what is associated now with a town that we enjoyed and saw as a pretty cool tolerant place. We have to change our thinking and make things better. Not because we are commies, as they seem to think, but because we are human.