Love Ripples

MLKjr

Is it just me, or has there been a statistically significant increase in horrifying tragedies lately?  Elementary school shootings, marathon bombs, plant explosions, tornadoes….  Have there been more, or is it just because I’m a mom now that it seems more oppressively constant?  Analytical Baby is too young to realize anything is going on, of course, but someday he won’t be, and the tragedies, the senseless violence and death, will just keep on coming.

I’ve thought a lot about how I’ll handle it, what I’ll teach him.  I refuse to feed him bullshit lies, like that nothing bad will happen to him or me, or that I’ll always be there to protect him.  I’ll always do everything in my power to protect him, but I won’t always be there, and bad things will happen … hopefully not too bad.

But I don’t want him to think the world is a bad, scary place.  So it’s hard, right?  But really, we somehow get by and have fun and love and laugh, despite the fact that we know the truth, that there is cruelty and murder and disaster in the world.  How is it that we do that, and how can I teach him to love this world without being ignorant?

I’m hoping to teach him that bad things happen every day, but that many more good things happen than bad … so much good.  I will teach him that everyone in the world needs and deserves love, even the people who do bad things.  There are people filled with hate in this world, who hurt other people, and we must be wary of them, and protect each other, but we must also send them love.  It is horrible whenever someone hurts someone, but we must not add to the hurt.  Love never hurt anyone or anything.  We are all connected, and every act of hate ripples, causing pain, but every act of love ripples further, causing happiness and joy.  It’s our task to break the cycle.  If we can respond to hate with love, we can turn the tide.

How do you teach that to a child?  Hopefully there will be a good example at hand.  Maybe a bad day where some kid was a jerk to him and it made him upset.  He could respond by being a jerk to someone else, but it wouldn’t make him feel better, if would just make someone else feel bad too.  Is it too much to think I might be able to teach him to give that jerk kid a smile, to share his toy or give him a cookie or something, and see what happens?  It won’t always work, of course, but sometimes it will, and it has more of a chance of working than reacting with anger.

We can get through the big tragedies like that, too.  I’m not suggesting we give the Boston bomber a cookie.  But we respond with love.  We make holiday ornaments for the families that lost their children in Connecticut.  We run/walk in honor of those who died in Boston. We collect blankets and supplies for the people in West and in Oklahoma.  We find ways to put our love into action, whether it will reach the people who we think need it or not.  Any love works.  Any love turns the tide.  Any amount of love adds to the aggregate good in the world and tips the scales.  That is how we deal with it.  That is how we fight.

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Jennika (1633 days ago)

Yes. This. Excellent way to imagine the ripple affect kindness and love has. Thank you.

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