For Christina Taylor Green
We teach them to share. We teach them to be kind, their right from their left, play nicely, use good manners, it’s not polite to point, take turns. We teach them to take responsibility. We teach them the golden rule; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Unless the others are not like you. Unless they don’t vote like you do. Unless their skin is a different color than yours. Unless they pray differently than you. Unless they live across some imaginary border from you. Unless they don’t agree with you. Unless…
We redefine right and left, until it becomes right and wrong. Pointing, pointing, pointing at who is to blame. Did you ever notice the word blame ends with me?
I am to blame. For every choice I made that did not honor what I teach my children. For every choice not made from love. For every time I didn’t share or play nicely with others. For every time I judged based on color or creed or doctrine. For every time I was impolite. For every time I didn’t wait my turn. For every time I dodged my responsibility for my choices. For every time I was unkind. For every time I forgot that left and right were just directions, not divisions.
For each and every time, my child, I apologize. I should have known better. I should have behaved better. From the deepest place in my heart, from the deepest part of my connection to all humanity, I am sorry that I didn’t behave more like you. I’m sorry I didn’t choose from the heart of the child, so that you could live today, now, in a world of peace. I will choose more wisely from this day forth. I will make choices that I know will one day lead to a world you will be proud to call home. You have my word - if you will still take the word of an adult.
January 9, 2011