“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”― Albert Einstein
Evil people are a reality. There are evil people who are also someone’s children, parents and even grandparents. There are also good people who are someone’s children, parents, and grandparents. When we who count ourselves as good do nothing about the evil we see others doing, we are part of the reason the world continues to be a dangerous place to live. As we celebrate fathers and mothers with special days, maybe it’s a good time to think about who we are, good or evil, and what we are doing to protect children in a dangerous world.
Hearing the names of the men and women who were killed in a recent shooting, I couldn’t let go of one of the names: Brenda McCool. A mother of eleven children, Brenda was with one of her sons, showing her support for him. She gave up her life to protect her child, taking a bullet so that he might continue to live. As I thought of the lessons in that moment for all of us, I kept returning to the things parents do for their children and things parents won’t do for their children.
Would you take a bullet for your child?
Would you do something to combat the evil people in this dangerous world?
Would you stand with your child when they are living in a way you might not support?
Some of us will do more for the religion we follow than for the children we parent, and parents like Brenda remind me of the good people who stand in the face of the evil that seeks to keep our world a dangerous place.
In my country, we are celebrating Father’s Day, having celebrated mothers last month. I know men and women who have served as both parents for their children when the other parent has either walked away or been taken away. I know adults who have been more supportive of children than their parents have been, and they deserve to be honored beside those who otherwise bear the title. Parents’ Day seems much more appropriate to celebrate, as the roles are shared by choice or by lot. Our world is changing every day–the environment, people’s beliefs and attitudes–but the thing that doesn’t change is the responsibility we have to our children.
“A parent must serve a child’s emotional and physical needs and protect the child from abuse from the other parent or another household member… parents must meet their children’s basic needs for food, clothing, housing, medical care, and education.” (K. Otterstrom, family law attorney)
In parenting, we have opportunities to help our children, or someone else’s, to learn about compassion, differences, acceptance, and love. We have the opportunity to teach them about evil or to be evil. We have the opportunity to teach them about love or to be love.
My niece has just given birth to her second child, my nephew is waiting on the birth of his first child, and I see lots of cute young families walking down our street. I am filled with hope for the children of tomorrow to know love and to show love, to know evil is out there and to know that only through the actions of good people will it ever stand a chance of being overcome.
I used to think if people just believed the things I did, the world would be a better place. I’ve learned that people can believe differently, can even dislike me, and still not be evil. We are good people. I’m willing to agree to disagree so that I can stand with you who want to do something about ‘it’ that makes our world a dangerous place to live.