Momservation: If we want to be better, we have to do better.
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I know this is a humble little parenting column where I usually try to lead with humor. But every parent knows there are just as many tears in parenting as there is laughter. There is just as much tough love as love. In trying to raise good people to send out into the world, we have to get our hands dirty.
So I’m rolling up my sleeves in the name of doing better and being better.
When I tried to decide if it was my place to use my platform during this time of raw outrage, pain, and uprising for those who feel marginalized, I heard the voice of George Floyd’s last words—calling for his mother.
My mother’s heart broke for George and it knew no color.
As a mother, I know I, personally, would move heaven and earth to find justice for my child if they were murdered at the hands of someone who had sworn to serve and protect them. I would welcome anyone who wanted to help me. That’s why I welcome these protests.
We should be shouting for all to hear, “No mother has a child to spare!” No white one, no black one, no brown one, NO ONE. We all bleed one color we all breathe the same air.
That right to breathe was taken from George Floyd.
So yes, let’s protest, yell, scream, cry, chant, rise up, peacefully assemble in great numbers to raise our voices and our profile to be seen and heard by not just those who see color instead of a mother’s child, but to remind everyone that this pain is justified.
What I have no tolerance for are those who are using this opportunity to affect important change in America—because make no mistake, this is an important crossroad for this country—to sow more division, intolerance and hatred by hijacking the message.
For those cowards hiding behind masks and a legitimate racial injustice movement to incite violence, vandalize, loot, burn and put lives at risk I have three words for you:
Shame on you.
Shame to the name you wear on your back given to you by your father. Shame for your mother who never hoped her child would grow up to be a heartless bigot or opportunistic criminal. Shame for your grandmothers, teachers, friends, coaches and neighbors who tried to look out for you and give you the tools to be your best self. Shame for your community who hoped you would be one of the good ones.
But mostly, shame for yourself. Because you know when you look in the mirror you will never ever be able to say you see a person worthy of respect.
And that’s the biggest shame: If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will.
That is the number one rule I have taught my children: First, respect yourself. Because if you do, then no other rules are needed.
So what can we do as a person, as a society, as a nation when we feel so helpless to the tragedy that currently surrounds us?
Bring it in tight. As Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
Love and respect begins at home. As a mother I tried to provide the love that would inspire my children to be the best possible people they could be. The tough love I gave them was so that they would respect themselves.
If we mothers do our best to put good people out into the world who have enough self-respect to make choices for good instead of evil…then we don’t raise children who grow into adults filled with so little self-respect that they would use their position of authority to snuff out a life, or stand by and let it happen, or use an opportunity to move in the right direction to sow blame, fear, violence, and destruction.
No mother has a child to spare. Not to racism. Not to violence. Not to hatred. Not to a lack of self-respect. Not to murder.
It’s time to make our mothers proud.
#GeorgeFloyd #DoBetterBeBetter #SelfRespect