I live in the United States of America. I have lived here all of my life. I was born and raised in Maryland and have lived most of my life in here in Maryland. I am a little too young to have been a hippy and a little too old to have been a yuppie.
My husband was born in Germany; his father was born in Greece. My husband came to the United States at the age of ten. His father moved to Greece as an adult and stayed. My husband graduated high school, became a citizen, and joined the United States Air Force. His father remained a Greek citizen all his life.
Some countries will allow you to have dual citizenship; the United States is not one of them. My husband felt strongly that he wanted to be a citizen of his adopted country. In order to do so, he had to learn its history and its laws and he gave up his German and Greek citizenship.
In the time that he has been here, he has honorably served this country, voted in its elections, worked for the government, and volunteered with the American Legion serving veterans of all eras.
Most people who immigrate to this country come here and become outstanding members of our society, even if they never give up citizenship in their country of birth. His mother is still a German citizen. She retired from working for a government agency. However, because of our fears after 911, someone like her would not be able to have a job like that anymore.
What do we fear…?
While you contemplate that, my real reason for writing today is that recently I have witnessed a disturbing trend among our children. I have witnessed children under the age of twelve, who would have been babies when our last president, Barrack Obama, took office eight years ago, speaking and acting in ways that speak volumes for what they are learning at home.
From the beginning of time, cultures have had leaders, rulers, kings, and presidents. Some have been tyrants and others kind. However, most were respected as the heads of state that the title or office afforded them. Yes, there were always those who opposed a president or ruler and at times a bad one needed to be overthrown or impeached.
In the history of the United States of America, the office of the president has been respected. It is the highest level a political leader can achieve. It is not handed down to someone through birth; it is earned through hard work and by the votes of the people. Many times, the tally of the votes have been questioned and opposition to the point of murder has happened, such was the case with President Lincoln and Kennedy.
Yet, in my lifetime, starting with just being old enough to watch the protests of the Vietnam War, through the impeachment of President Nixon, on to the scandalous acts of President Clinton, I have never seen children so filled with vehement hate for a president.
Children are not born hating anyone they learn to hate.
Therefore, when I see children wearing pins that depict President Trump in a toilet and others playing a game called “Punch the Trump”, it disturbs me. These children are being molded by the world around them. I would like to see them grow up to be loving, kind citizens. Yet, these acts make me question if that will be the future for them.
I am not one to let a teachable moment slide…
The first incident happened while I was teaching at my church. A young girl was wearing some pins. I asked her where she got the pins. She proudly told me her mother bought them for her at the Women’s March in Washington, DC. Therefore, no matter the rhetoric, one of the main reasons for the march(es) was to protest President Trump.
After asking her about where she got the pins. I asked her if she knew who “Trump” was, since one of her pins said, “Flush the Trump” and she said that she did, that he is the President. I then told her that the pins were not very nice. She just shrugged her shoulders.
Therefore, to help her understand the hatred they depicted, I related it to someone closer to her. I reminded her that she had a principal at her school and asked her if she would wear a pin like that about her principal. She said, “No, that wouldn’t be nice.” I countered with if that wouldn’t be nice then maybe she should rethink wearing the pins. I, continued, because I know her mother is a principal at a high school, and asked her how she would feel if the teens there wore pins like that about her mother. She said she wouldn’t like that at all.
Sometimes, the best way to teach is to relate the lesson back to people and things that they know. I hope it opened up some conversations at her home and made her rethink wearing the pins.
The second incident happened at the end of the day, in a class where I was the substitute teacher. The children had packed up and asked if they could play a game on the computer. After giving them permission, I reminded them that they were not to play any violent games. Therefore, I was very surprised when I heard them talking about the game “Punch the Trump.” Moreover, even, more surprised when I went over and discovered that they were playing it. For some reason they did not think it was violent, they thought it was funny. Even though, at this point in the game, the animated President Trump was bloody and falling down. I told them it was extremely violent and unacceptable. One boy turned around and told me that he hates President Trump.
I told them that they needed to exit the game immediately. Then I reminded them that he is the President of our country and deserves our respect. I also told them that we do not hate anyone.
In both of these stories the children are young, the first child is only nine years old and the classroom I was covering was full of eleven-year-olds. This disturbs and concerns me. I love children, I really do. Children need our love and tender care. They need to be brought up in love and respect. I cannot understand why anyone would teach their children to hate.
We all have a responsibility to teach children love, kindness, and respect. It is a huge responsibility but if we don’t do it, someone else may come in like a wolf in sheep’s clothing and teach them hate.
Let’s teach by being examples of LOVE! Let’s show love loudly, so loud that we drown out all the hate.
Juju and the Angels
We are LOVE and we are IN!