Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Be Prepared

The cable moves slowly. Anticipation shows on the faces surrounding the shaft that sank 1/2 mile through the earth's surface. A world waits. Some watch on the big screen. We watch on the television. Many are drawn in concern of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days.

Why is it that we pull together in times of tragedy? Why is it that we open our hearts to those who are suffering from disaster and pain? Why is it that this world can't do the same all of the rest of the time? We cry for one another, we cheer at the survival, we fight to save lives buried in rubble, in collapsed houses, in those under water? Why can't we fight FOR one another all the rest of the times?

We relate to our own families when disaster hits. We relate to those families filled with pain and despair sad for them yet glad it isn't us. We cry for the children and those injured. We want to be there to help so we send money and clothing. We want for them what we would want for us. Pain is mighty glue that bonds people even if just for a moment in time.

I watched a special on the Sudan this week. Such sweet people just wanting a life who have lived with horror. Look at the world news and note the war and hate that dominates. Where is that world that pulls together? Where are the compassionate hearts?

My granddaughters and I watch the news. Gabby gets side-tracked, but Sydney likes to watch with me. I find this to be a perfect time to encourage her to ask questions allowing her to come to her own conclusions. I don't censor what she watches on the news. We lived in a world that demands it's own dialogue. We talk about the history of countries, of the injustices, of the tragedies, of the successes. We talk politics, peace, ways of thinking. We try to understand why some are so angry, why disaster happens, why children bully. The news is our window onto the world and into deeper thinking. I do not try to influence her but only to encourage her to think, to realize that not everything she hears on TV is true. She has the ability to pick and chose and come to her own conclusions. I owe her that.

Sydney has been a diplomat in her class for as long as she has been in school. She is the peacemaker. She stands up for what she believes. She is compassionate and loving.

We grandparents have a wonderful opportunity to teach our grandchildren to think for themselves. That opportunity includes being involved in what they do and what they see. We need to use our eyes and ears to know what is happening with our grandchildren. We need to share our own doubts and fears, our own questions. Many times I've taken a simple problem asking Sydney for help. She offers her suggestion, and I listen without judgment.

Our world population needs to learn more compassion and thoughtfulness. We need to have children who think for themselves making a better world. I was brought up to believe what my parents believed. We butted heads more times than not. Mom and Dad weren't about to change, and I was a child of the 60's.

When the girls get home today, we will watch the rescue of the miners. The questions will come. The opportunity to show the girls a larger world than that which they live in will present itself. Doors of thought will open.

Sit down before fact as a little child. Be prepared to give up every preconceived notion.-me.

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