What can I say? What can I do? How am I a part of the solution?
These are some of the questions setting up residence in my mind as I find myself working through the sheer volume of tragedies that have been poured over women and children in the past few weeks.
These women, these girls, innocent, victims, moms, daughters, WHY?
I navigate social media, wading through the many remembrances of those not fortunate enough to make headlines, watching clips of people demanding answers, calling for leaders, men, someone, to give account. Calls for men to be men, fathers to raise sons better or just to simply raise them, calls for men to stand up, to speak to men, to defend woman and children better, to raise their voices, to be the ones protesting and not the ones supporting the woman protesters.
I have 2 sons and 2 daughters. My boys are my Warrior Prince’s, my daughters are (as defined by my eldest) my Warrior, Princess, Ballerina, Ninja, Queens. They embody infinite value and wield the ability to create the greatest storms and most beautiful rainbows in our lives.
So what happens in a boys life that causes him to break from the path of childhood to pursue the kind of brutality some other Dad’s Warrior, Princess, Ballerina, Ninja Queens experience? What did their Daddy’s not do, What did they do?
I fully appreciate that Dads don’t hold all the cards. Our kids have other influences, more so nowadays with the access, our kids have to influences around the world thanks to the “blessing” of technology. We have other pressures that perhaps are unique to our generation or at least differ in intensity from those that have gone before. I understand that some brutal acts are about control, psychotic imbalances and neurological challenges. Poverty, hopelessness, Sin, Evil making itself known in various ways, these all have a role to play. But diagnosing the causes is but one step and perhaps another is that we need to heed the call to action.
Perhaps its time we, as men, get off the couch and engage with more of the challenges and horrors that are breaking the fabric of society and communities. Woman have not cornered the market on making the world a better place to live in, it just seems that more often than not, they appear to care more about the communities they live in than the power or prestige that can be achieved living in it.
I think part of the solution is for men to start owning “their stuff”. Let’s look at our pasts, the stories we play out every day, our justifications, our hurts, the lies we hold to. Perhaps after we have taken responsibility for what we bring to our homes, families and communities, we will be able to make sure that our sons don’t continue in some of the same ways that can cause so much harm.
Social outreach, school mentorship programs, men stepping in the gap, all of these have their place. But right now, I think it’s best to tuck my girls in bed tonight, tell them I love them, pray over them, ask for protection and then do the same with my sons.
Perhaps the best place to start is to love the One. The One I have been entrusted with, the One I want to change the world, the One I pray will change the world, the One I hope will love his baby girls like I love mine, the One who does things differently than other Ones out there. Then perhaps, my One will challenge the idea of what it means to be a One.
I can comment, I can protest, I can make my voice heard but at the end of the day, the single greatest gift I can give to this world is my One, my Legacy is embodied in them.
Love your sons tonight, love your daughters, leave a legacy and trust that the love they bring to the fight of life overpowers the evil that others bring.