Monday, November 14, 2016

Living to Live Again

Living to live again is more than a concept of the afterlife (or whatever religion you practice or don't practice). For a Christian, the aim is to live this life in such a way that heaven becomes your home when you die. But, this isn't the end result. It doesn't matter if you're religious or nonreligious. How will you live again though your cildren, family, and friends? And how does home education help fulfill your legacy?

Killed in a car accident nine years later,  I'm still angry and hurt my mom died. Intellectually, I understand death is inevitable and often unexpected. My friend's mom died when she was 14. She's learned to look at the legacy her mom left. She focuses on her gratitude for not only the time she had with her, but looks back and acknowledges the foundation her mother laid for the life she is living now.

I attended funeral services for the mother of our church. It was one of the most beautiful and serene services I've ever attended. Just listening to the stories family and friends shared were amazing. To look out across the congregation and see her children, grandchildren, grandchildren, nieces/nephews, and friends celebrating the life she led was remarkable. She lived her to life to live again. She's gone, yet she still lives in each of the people she shared her life with. That's powerful.

If you're a Christian, it's more than a matter of someone living to live again in heaven. How will your children remember you? What stories will they tell your grandchildren? If you're not a Christian the questions remain the same. How does home education add to this legacy? What will they remember about these homeschooling days? Will they remember yelling, nagging, and math books flying? Or will they remember the passion and enthusiasm you shared about living life with them. Oh, there will be good and days bad. Hopefully, the good memories will outweigh the bad. Over time, I've found through my mom's death, the good memories really do overshadow the bad.

I look at my love of baking, parenting my children, and love of learning as a by-product of my childhood. My mom had such an amazing ability to pick her battles. She trusted her abilities to impart love and wisdom. She didn't rely on the latest in pop psychology or the newest parenting technique. My mom didn't need to read a book or the latest study to tell her it was okay to let your children watch TV or play video games. That's the woman I want to be. I know every day wasn't easy for her. She was a single parent, worked, and earned her college degree.

Fortunately, this isn't a one shot deal. Sometimes we do get a do-over of sorts. We have an opportunity daily to make the choices required to live again in our children and grandchildren. What choices do you need to make?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Post Election Reflections

"I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he's wrong. Than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil." Malcolm X

I shared on FaceBook my children woke up on Wednesday feeling some kind of way about the election results. Disappointment. Sadness. Surprise. Confusion. Just a disclaimer, my husband and I were not Trump or Clinton supporters. So, this isn't a bash Trump post or elevate Clinton. Or vice versa. But, what did the elections teach my children?

They learned people they like will support ideas and people they find difficult to accept. My younger boys were disappointed and confused by their friends supporting Trump. If their friends were watching the same debates and speeches how could they support him? Children in our co-op debated the merits of Trump and Clinton. There were some pretty strong convictions on both sides. Unlike adults, they were able to play together lately.

They learned what's in you will eventually come out. The fear, isolationism, and hate for various groups reigned freely in this election. People will eventually show their true colors given the opportunity. So, always watch and listen to what people do and say. You'll learn how people really feel about you. I've always had more respect for people openly truthful of how they feel than those who hide it behind false words.

They learned adults are not always the best examples of appropriate behavior. Name-calling and bullying tactics are unacceptable in our home. The kids watched the debates often commenting about the "childish" behavior. It became a running joke that it was insulting to children to label their behavior as childish.

They learned the more things change the more they stay the same. People of color have made great strides in all areas of life, yet nothing actually changes. For many, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's is history. It's something we read about and discuss with our elders. We watch documentaries and visit museums. This election reminds us we must remain vigilant. The struggle is real.

They learned our lives aren't controlled by who's in the White House. Most Black people I know don't depend on the government to live fruitful lives. We've always known the merits of self-education and self-sufficiency. The world will still go on. Dad still has to get up and go to work. Bills still need to get paid. People of color will do what they've always done: adapt, educate, survive, and thrive.

They learned politics is a game. We listened to Trump's victory speech. My kids noted this man was not the man who spoke before the election. This man spoke of unity and complimented Secretary Clinton. This man was calm. One of my son's asked if maybe Trump was acting earlier in the campaign. Politics is a game of tailoring your actions and words to the latest audience. The best speakers in any field know how to do this. Politics is no different. So, the wise person listens deeper.

Today is a new day. The elections are over and there's still work to be done as a nation and separately as individuals and families. This will never change. All we can tell our children is do the things necessary to live a life independent of who is the White House or has the senate majority. Build your families and communities. Educate yourself. Become entrepreneurs, or always have a side gig. Don't get caught up in materialism and personal debt. Love and respect others. Remember you are your brothers and sisters keepers. If you're really adventurous, grab that piece of land and start growing your own food. These things withstand political affiliations.