Emily Duke Hargan
Whiskey Wednesday: Advice to my kids in the face of adversity
It's impossible to avoid writing about the tension gripping our country right now. We are all feeling it and experiencing it. These are unprecedented times. The world has been ravaged by a global pandemic. Over a 100,000 people in this country have lost their lives to the disease and over 40 million people are out of work with many more facing uncertainty in the future. To top it off, over the last week thousands of protestors have gathered in cities across the country — many peaceful, some violent.
Cities have struggled to respond to some of these protests. Looting and violence has erupted. People have gotten hurt. Private property has been damaged. Confusion, chaos, and rage is on every television station I turn on, and if you follow Twitter, it gets even more vicious. Even our faith leaders have entered into the political fray. We must march. We must heal. We need new leadership. We aren't woke enough.
We can sit here and point fingers. Blame the police, blame the president, blame each other. We can also choose to ignore it — but I encourage you not to do that.
I'm trying to raise two teenage boys. If you've been reading this blog, you've probably read a few stories about both of them. They're smart, inquisitive, faithful and trustworthy. My husband and I are incredibly blessed to be the parents of these two souls. But I'm worried about the fate of our great country. I'm worried about what my boys will inherit when I am gone. What kind of advice can I offer that prepares them to venture out in these uncertain times?
I've been talking with my boys about what has been going on over the last weeks. Being the children of politicos, they listen to the news on a low murmur all day long so they're well aware of what has been happening on the streets of DC. My youngest asked me last night why everyone seems to hate everybody else so much (we happened to be watching an interview where all the guests including the host were literally screaming at each other). I didn't have a quick and easy answer to his question nor do I think would any of you.
However, I did try to offer an explanation. I told him that often in life we will encounter many diverse groups of people with different opinions than our own. Sometimes those interactions will provoke discord and disagreement. Our first instinct will be to judge those people, to react and often our reactions will be in a negative way. This may eventually harden our hearts, deafen our ears, and blind us. I go on to tell him that the person I want him to be is a young man that is always thoughtful, quick to listen, open to new ideas and to seeking the truth. And most of all, I want him to have a heart that is willing to grow and expand with immeasurable love even in the face of adversity.
Our kids are closely watching how we all react today. Let's offer them one of the greatest gifts we can give them — a country that respects each and every individual, that strives for civility, and that embraces all human life. They must know that love offers hope. Love never fails.