We ARE They!

May 8, 2010

During the first nine years of my daughter’s life, I have tried to nudge her into a waterfall of self-confidence.  My wish for her would be that she had the confidence to know that in this world, people are not ‘them’ and ‘us’.  I wanted her to feel secure in the understanding that people are ‘we’.  Did I lose you yet??

My fear would be that she grew up thinking that someone else would be responsible for her happiness, and someone else is controlling the outcome of her situations.  My fear is that she would hold back in life, in fear that she was ‘us’ not ‘them’.  Still confused??

I don’t want her to be limited in her experiences and knowledge and accomplishments and friends in life because she thought we weren’t them.

Have I lost ya yet?

When she pumps gas for her car at 16, I don’t want her to be shy to the clerk inside collecting her money — or flip side: think she is better than the clerk inside collecting her money.  The men and women of congress, the gas clerks, the cooks, the managers, the college students, the homeless, the janitors, the factory workers, the corporate head honchos, the teachers, the police, the presidents and CEOs etc???  They are us, creating we.

When she is a Senior in high school and starts to really become passionate about issues in the world, politics, unfair situations etc, I want her to know that it is her responsibility to pursue change.  I would roll over if I ever heard her say something like, “THEY need to do something to save this town.”  Or, “THEY need to create a law for this.”  Or, “THEY need to bring our soldiers home.”  Or even, “THEY say that eating tuna while pregnant is not healthy.”  My response to her would be, “THEY?!!?!!  WE are THEY!”

High school is a great example. 

When we went to school, we had the Preps, Jocks, Hoods, In Betweens, Nerds, Rednecks etc.  That’s fine.  However, what comes from that are negatives that glare right at me.  You sometimes find yourself defining who you are solely by the strict expectations of your label.  I know you’re so much more than that.  The other thing is that you teach yourself to dislike the other groups or, at best, consider them, “They.” 

Hello?  WE are THEY!

Make any sense??  HA!

So, if you were stuck in the label of Hood, you likely wouldn’t play sports.  You might even be anti-sports…EVEN if you LOVED you some soccer.  It would be difficult to have the confidence to remain true to your label of Hood, and compete for a spot on the soccer team.  It would be difficult for you to be a part of “THEIR” world.

My goal is to teach my children that “THEIR” world is “OUR” world because (say it with me now), We ARE They!

Anyway…today, she went into McDonald’s all by herself, with receipt in hand, to get a new hot chocolate.  We had just been through the drive thru and they forgot to give it to us.  There was a lobby full of people, and it could have been a confusing situation for a nine-year-old person.  

She was successful in communicating her issue and having it resolved. 

And, for the first time, it was her idea to do it. 

She.Volunteered.

She didn’t think anything of it.  One small step for those that don’t get me — those that do get me understand that it is a giant leap for our kind!  🙂

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