Monday, January 16, 2012

i had a dream

me and vix
When I was a child, I dreamed as a child.  I thought the world was a perfect place, and life would always be perfect, and happy.  My world was solid.  I would grow up and be an artist.

Then the 1960's happened, and suddenly the world turned upside down.  No longer was it expected that girls would grow up and get married and have kids, or have careers as teachers or nurses.  Suddenly, there was a paradigm shift, and the world burst open like an overripe melon, a new world emerging from the seeds it spewed forth.

That new world was terrifyingly beautiful, and exciting.  It was also filled with tense emotions as the older generation struggled to understand my generation.  In the 1960's I learned that it was possible to be the President of the United States, and still die a violent death at the hands of a madman.  And I watched as a politician and a preacher taught that the world could be a better place, a peaceful place, and tried to make it so.  And I watched in horror and sorrow as they also died violent deaths.  Did I lose faith?  Did I lose hope?  

No.  It would have been so easy to do that. But I watched, and listened, and learned from what happened.  And as I grew up, I realized that we all have dreams.  We all have hopes.  And most of us do want a better world.  It is essential human nature to hope.

I also learned that there was more out there in that world than just growing up to be a wife and a mom.  There was change happening, and I was part of the generation of change.  So what did I do as I learned these important lessons, the ones about tolerance and acceptance, equality and change?

I became a wife, and a mom.  You are probably laughing at that line, because I had much higher hopes than that.  Even funnier, down the road, in mid-life, I became a nurse.  I backed right into the stereotypes I didn't think I would ever really become.

Then somewhere along my path in life, I became enlightened.  I realized the big lesson.

Change starts at home.  Teaching my children about peace, racial tolerance, and equality started from the day I first became a mom.  My children watched me and learned from me.  And I realized that if every mom did that, the change would happen.  The world they inherited might be a better world.

Change doesn't always happen in big, sweeping surges.  Sometimes change happens one day at a time, one lesson at a time.  Quietly, and stealthily, it happens.  From mother to child it happens.

I am not trying to gild the lily, or paint pretty pictures and platitudes.  I know that our world is far from perfect.  But I also know that with small steps, and a belief in dreams, change can happen.

One day, and one child at a time.

I still have that dream.  Rest in peace, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I heard your words, and believed.  And still believe.


~cath
Twitter @jonesbabie
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