Legacy For Our Kids

My oldest kid’s dorm is three blocks from the White House.  This week media reported that ISIS threatened to blow the President’s residence up, “The White House will turn black with our fire, Allah willing.”

I’m feeling pretty good, because I can’t imagine anyone’s god willing to blow folks up.

And yet, I worry.  Not so much about what will happen to DJ during her tenure at George Washington University, I worry about what my generation is leaving my children.

Michelle has seen enough news lately, and we’ve had enough conversation that it has become apparent to me that she is feeling fear of what could come.  She asked if we could move to Canada – sort of joking, sort of not.  She didn’t want DJ to fly home for Thanksgiving, she much preferred me go pick her up in the car.  She is visibly concerned.

What a shame.

What a shame that my kid has to live with the fear of being shot down while dining outside in her own hometown.  Oh, and what a shame that a Syrian child listens to bombs exploding outside his window each night or is placed on a raft to float to “safety.”

None of them deserve this.

I work at the YMCA and before each staff or volunteer meeting, we open with a devotion and a prayer.  This past week a colleague of mine talked about conviction.  He asked what  we firmly and passionately believed in.  What, if anything, would we be willing to sacrifice for?  What, if anything, would we be willing to die for?

For me, maybe it is an inordinate desire to leave this world better than my parents left it for me.

I think I’m failing.

Perhaps that means paying higher taxes for military support or for social programs that give kids at home and abroad enough hope to feel that blowing themselves up isn’t their greatest option.   Imagine living such a life that strapping a bomb to yourself is the option you would choose over continuing life on this earth.

I want my 13-year-old to be worrying about the snotty girl who shunned her on the playground or the boy who picked his nose in math class and wiped his finger on her notebook – the stuff I worried about at that age.

A first step for us is to be united, to stop our political bickering, to listen and respect each other’s opinions, to work in harmony to bring light to the rest of the world.  I’m not the best listener, but for Michelle’s sake, I’m gonna try a little harder.

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