Over the last six months I have listened to many speeches, some at graduations, some at Seattle's jewel Town Hall and one at Bennaroya Hall in Seattle. Most of the time when I listen to someone share their expertise, book excerpt, or passion I can find at least a couple of kernels that add to my life. I am thankful to say I have only had difficulty mining insightful bits of wisdom at one of these recent events. And luckily for me the folks I attended that event with me helped me to see a couple important insights.
One of the reasons I had a difficult time finding kernels of wisdom in the above mentioned event was due to a sadness I felt – stuck by how unprepared this woman was in her mid-twenties to advocate for her own well being when her mother died. This is not to say that we are ever fully prepared for a loved ones death, particularly the death of our parent or child, however I hope and trust Carly will not take to behaviors of self destruction when Mark or I die.
At a completely different event the keynote speaker, Craig Sims, gave me an interesting insight about how we prepare our children for the greater world and the multitudes of experience they are bound to come across. His personal mission statement inspired me to the point of getting his business card and calling him so that I could get it in writing and his permission to quote him so I could share with all of you. Craig's mission statement is "I'm preparing my children for the world, while preparing the world for my children". When we talked he explained to me he felt that preparing his children for the world was just as important as the good works he does daily to prepare the world for his children. As I have pondered his mission statement I think about how many families would benefit from his wisdom.
As our daughter Carly prepared for the world she learned that life isn't fair, doing a good job is important, your word is you bond, and one should always leave a place better then you found it. As I prepare the world for Carly's generation and the generations younger then her, I do my best to live as lightly on the earth as possible, work for peace and justice and show her how I build my healthy, supportive and positive communities.
How do you prepare your children for the world? How do you prepare the world for your children? Where does your community need your help in either of these tasks?
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