Tuesday, August 10, 2010

To my daughter's teachers

Dear friends, teachers, neighbors, family, family-in-Christ, clerks, child-care workers, parents and caretakers at playgrounds, bus drivers and flight attendants, children's songwriters, Pixar animators, and anyone else who comes into contact with my daughter:

You are her teachers, every one of you.  Every one of you, every one of us who is in contact with her for even the fleetingest moment teaches her what it means to be human. We show her through our example what it means to be valuable, and who and what she should value.

I know I fail at this frequently, and aim with all my heart and effort and prayer to do better. I beseech you to examine your life, the tone of your voice, the little encounters you have with all the little ones of the world, and ask yourself:
>>With my life, am I teaching that all people are valuable and precious? Or am I limiting my respect and my decency to some subset or another -- the ones who drive like I do or look like I want to; the ones who play sports for a living or can retire at 30?
>>What I am teaching the little ones around me? Am I teaching them to be fearful or trusting? Cynical or loving?
>>What will I do to live the message I want them to learn?

If, by remote chance, you intended to teach my daughter that, in fact, one race is better than another, one more trustworthy than another, one more likely to betray than another, one more really human than another: your day will come.  You won a little bit of her mind yesterday, but you will not win her heart and her soul.  You will not turn her against a part of herself, nor will you succeed at turning her against her human brethren.  Jesus has already claimed her, and his love and respect for every single one of us, even you, will win the day and the end of days.

In the meantime, don't you ever let me hear you talking that way in front of my kid.


Heather said...

I really want to hurt these people, I'm not kidding...sigh. Hug Elis for us.

Anonymous said...

What gets me some days: that it's all sides that do this. It's amazing any of us survives the messages we get.