All around us, our comfort levels are being challenged and boundary lines crossed. We have the political fall-out that has become of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight for justice following the death of George Floyd. We see the posts, the comments, the videos and the news articles that want to keep us informed by subconsciously swaying us one way other another. America was built on Freedom. We celebrate this every Fourth of July and as that special day approaches, we hope you’ll remember that we all deserve the right to freedom. We deserve the right to dress how we want, live how we want, think how we want and BE who we want. And let us not forget that just as we have the freedom to be who WE want, we also have the freedom to encourage others to do the same. Black, white, yellow or brown, it is our responsibility to grow as a united front, not allow current events to tear us apart even further.
Parents, caregivers, mentors: There is a generation in front of us right now that is trying to make sense of the world around us. They are forming opinions about a virus that has affected millions of people worldwide. The political fallout that has resulted is filled with educational lessons, but don’t let them learn alone.
And as they watch the news and, perhaps, participate in protests across the country, words of hate continue to rise up. We must be there to answer the questions. We must be there to teach kindness and what it means to have an open mind. We must be there to answer questions. We must teach lessons that offer both sides of the story and give this generation of future leaders the freedom to have their voices be heard and work in peace, side-by-side, with one another. It’s the only way we can have a better tomorrow.
Here are a few ways you can teach the youth in your life to be a part of the solution:
Take some time to truly define kindness. Help your young one to understand the rewards of balancing doing for themselves while also doing for others.
Read history books and watch documentaries of times past. Then take the time to discuss.
Join protests that you know will be passionate, but peaceful.
Encourage the youth to join groups that fight for change and justice for all.
Attend events that embrace people of all colors.
Teach your child to recognize character over color.
Define friendship as two individuals finding common ground, building each other up and supporting one another. When one finds true friendship, color, sexual preference and political party does not matter.
Have open and honest conversations.
Lead by example and let your words and actions be encouraging and productive.
Discover the simple act of paying it forward and seek out ways to do this together throughout the week.
Explore your heritage and ancestry and find productive ways to share your discoveries with others.