A dad holds on to hope that in a world of people pitted against one another, times are a changin’ for the world his children will grow up in.
How can a 24 year old struggle with keeping up with the world? Well, when you factor in the 40 plus hours I spend at work and couple it with my desire to be present for my kids, I am falling behind on all things hip. When I get free time, I spend it writing about my kids or trying to keep the spark alive in my marriage. I don’t have time to keep up with a world that just keeps spinning.
Trying to understand the latest in the greatest going on with the world has left much to be desired. According to the news, every black person is a thug and all cops have a tendency to use lethal force when not necessary. If you flip from that depressing state of affairs, you can weigh in on what is appropriate or inappropriate for a female to wear and how men should not have any sexual drive towards revealing clothes. Flags? I don’t even want to go down that path as there are those on both sides who fiercely oppose each other. Same-sex marriage now falls under the plain old ‘marriage’ category while people busy themselves mud-slinging in the name of beliefs.
We live in 2015 and currently everything is a fiercely debated topic. The news is trending if only for people to sit and spew opinions as fact. There is no regard for their fellow man.
Sitting my kids down, I tell them all I have learned:
- Blacks aren’t people, they are thugs.
- Avoid cops, as your skin is a shade too different to not leave the encounter in a body bag.
- Don’t be attracted to a woman in a revealing outfit.
- Avoid women all together, because even a compliment can be construed as sexual harassment.
- Hide the things that bring you pride under your bed.
- The sanctity of marriage is now ruined – insanely high divorce rates hadn’t nailed that coffin shut long ago.
- Expect the world to be unfair and people to embrace ignorance over human rights.
- Keep your head down and your mouth shut, it will just be easier this way.
Look at how easily out of hand things can get and how, thanks to the internet, things are permanent. I find myself more ill prepared to raise children than ever. What do we teach our kids? Do we teach our kids beliefs and a system of rights and wrongs that will eventually get them flogged in the court of public opinion? It is far too easy to just say: “teach them to be accepting and non-judgmental.” This world is nothing if not full of one party of people not accepting and judging another party of people.
Growing up, I bought into the belief that the American Dream was real: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those words, they resonated with me. I truly believed this world, and what was done in it was up to me. Fantasies of “making it” flew through my head. I look back at the trust I held in that message, that life is what you make of it. I needed to believe in it as a truth. It needs to be real.
When looking at my kids, I have to have conviction when I tell them, “You can be anything you want to be.” All children deserve to grow up with that mentality. It is why I write, and write FREE! I write with passion and throw myself behind my words. Someday, I hope to have something to show my kids. My own little published slice of the American Dream. We have to believe that this world is a place that can be changed for the good. For our kids’ sake, the world needs to be a place where any and every person can carve out their own piece of happy.
And so, I sit here, unprepared to raise kids in a world that is just dead set on beating them down. I write, in hopes to prove the American Dream is alive and well for my children’s sake. I tell my kids, with conviction, that they can grow up to be happy and make it on their own terms. They just need to stand tall in the face of adversity. The world is theirs to shape and mold. Getting knocked down is just a chance to get back up.
I say every cliché I know as self-evident truths, even when the world doesn’t make sense. It is their world to change as they see fit. Nothing can bar them. No obstacle stands in the way that can’t be overcome.
I teach my kids to believe in themselves just as much as I believe in them. Then I hope it is enough for them to tackle the world.
Times they are a changin’, and they don’t have to always be for the worse.
Originally appeared on Punk Rock Papa
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