Sunday, September 18

The Precious Heirloom of HATE.....

Racism...

This is the second piece to RUDY......


The Precious Heirloom of HATE

Katrina.

Anarchy, chaos, looting, rape, murder, gangs, thugs, cop-killing, politics, racial wars, and opportunists that exploit tragedy. America? Yes, and NO.

Blame has been dumped on everything from global warming, racial hate, corruption, and of course the eeevil Bush administration. I have been reading blogs, emails from friends in Mississippi, and watching the news for days. I have actually read a woman's story about wanting to stop and help another woman stranded on the side of the road with a young child, but changed her mind when she saw a "W" sticker on this mother's minivan. I have seen some call on everyone to pull together. Political ideology has destroyed the character of our society as a whole. I have heard the "n" word in some places being used more than the word "the." INSANITY!

How did we get here? I have a few ideas, but none better than the example I am about to give.

I was watching my son play football the other day. I got to chatting with a woman there watching her son. I found out that she is a teacher, a single mother, and a Christian. I was enjoying our conversation until.............

Yup, she started on how terrible America is. In a nutshell, "9/11, what do we expect? Look how we treat the rest of the world and EACH OTHER." It was obvious we grew up in two different countries. WHY? Because I am white, and she is black? NO- this is ridiculous. We grew up in two different America's because of the people in our lives and what they taught us and showed us.

She sees herself as not abandoned, but targeted. America keeping her down. America out to punish people and hate people because of skin color. Sadly, this image is not at all what I saw. I saw a classy, intelligent woman. A mother committed and dedicated to her children, sitting in the stands after a hard day's work hoping to see her son get on the field at least once. I saw a woman not only dedicated to her own children, but to all of the children in her community. Let's face it, teachers don't sign up for the job for the dough. I saw a mother working hard to give her children all she could. But then the hate slipped out. The image I had of her was shattered.

My heart broke for her. How miserable this must be. No doubt she loves her children. Now I saw a woman that has been cheated, not cheated of opportunity to achieve physically, but cheated mentally and emotionally. I fear this is a family heirloom passed down generation after generation. It is a martyrdom clung to. I honestly believe the hate is clung to with the intention of making them strong. The purpose is to teach their children to never let the white man disrespect them. The result it DEVASTATING.

Imagine this scenario: My son walks off the field after the game frustrated and angry because he didn't get to play. I proceed to tell him that he is being cheated. Sports are corrupt, full of coaches out to make a name for themselves, basking in adoration, and they don't give a hoot about him. The only thing the coach cares about is the numbers placed in the WIN - LOSS column. He favors the kids whose parents he hangs out with and raise lots of money for the team. Then I decide to go pitch a fit on the coach. I whine and moan. I tell my son the coach hates short people. You are short, get use to it. The world is not a friendly place for short men. Don't take it, fight back against this injustice at every turn. "SHORT POWER."

What have I just done? I have told my child that he is a victim. I have told him he has NO POWER. I have SHOWN him that blaming others, accusing them of discrimation, and acting like a child told "no" is the way to handle things. I have CONVINCED him that it doesn't matter how hard he works, or how talented he is, the system is against him, and there is only one way to deal with it- take NO responsibility, and let the world know you are a victim and the system is eeevil. What a great lesson. What a GREAT gift to give my child. How strong is my love for my child when supporting him and giving him the tools to succeed in life take a back seat to my hate and anger.

In reality what is happening is that my heart is breaking. It is painful to see your child not get what he wants, or what I feel he deserves. But rather than deal with this pain on my own, rather than possess my pain and be the adult, I take the pain and shove it back on him. Make him deal with it and make myself look like his number one advocate.

I love my son. My love for him is so strong, I want HIM to succeed and have more in life. I want him to live with peace in his soul and be a man that others look up to. This is what I told my son:
"You are just as much a part of that team as the star quarterback. You have a great purpose. You may not be in the spotlight for making big plays, but you have other talents. Take YOUR talents and SHINE with THOSE. Son, people love to be around you. You are the one encouraging your friends when they are down. You know how to pump people up. I am thrilled just to see you wear that jersey. You are brave beyond measure. It takes a lot of heart and great character to make sure you give all you can to the team instead of sitting on the sidelines worrying about your chance to show-off. It takes courage to stand on that field when these guys are twice your size and weight. It's easy to be a positive part of the team when you are making catches and running the ball into the endzone. It's TOUGH to stand on the sidelines and cheer and support the kids that pick on you just to make themselves feel better or look cool. You are head and shoulders above them. You have what it takes to be a great husband and a great father, and when all is said and done, this is what people will remember. Make it your mission to be the best encourager of the guy on the team with the biggest ego and worst attitude. Don't waste your time getting angry about where you fall short, put your energy into your OWN STRENGTHS. Figure out what you can offer this team that no one else can, and then give it with all your heart and soul. Be the one that people can count on to hold the team together. Be the one that people WANT to be around. If you do this, 2 things will happen. Number one- YOU will enjoy your time spent on this team MUCH MUCH MORE! You are going to be there- make it count. Make it the BEST you can make it. Number two- YOU will learn more from this experience than you ever imagined. You will be the better person. You will leave your high school career knowing that you were a positive part of this team. You will go into life with the skills you need to succeed no matter what the odds. YOU have the power to become a VICTIM or a VICTOR. It is YOUR choice. "

Bottom line is this. The rest of the world will give him plenty of chances to be a victim and blame others for all his unhappiness and disappointments. I have decided to GIVE HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW HE HAS THE POWER TO SUCCEED AND THE CHARACTER TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. My job as a parent is not to worry about how much time he gets on the field. It is my job to nurture him in a way that will serve him best in his life. It is my job to give him the chance to know HE CHOOSES his destiny. It is my job to bear the brunt of the pain and disappointment and give him HOPE and POWER over his own life.

As the talking heads and political pundits play games and play on your emotions to further their own agenda, put your efforts into making America better. I am going to take the last piece of my own advice that I gave my son. "When you catch others on the team causing strife and tearing the coaches or other players down, tell them you aren't interested in wasting your time hurting the team. Tell them it is the coaches call on who plays and who doesn't. It is your call on weather you build the team up or tear it down. Tell them you choose to do what you can do to make the team better." So I am not going to waste my breath on who called who. Not wasting my time on weather the Governor, the Mayor, or the President dropped the ball. Even an investigation into what went wrong would only become a political CYA session. After everyone is safe, the Mayor, the Governor, and the President need to sit down behind closed doors and hash it all out. Then they should EACH release a statement about where they could have done BETTER. No one should mention a word about what the others should have done. They need to concentrate on their own roles and offer what they learned in order to help others learn from the mistakes made so we can ALL be better prepared in the future.

This is about saving lives. This is not about elections. This is about using this tragedy to make us weaker or stronger. OUR CHOICE!

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