“If we are ever to have real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with the
children.” Mohandas K. Gandhi
This week’s news has been flooded with bringing to surface the incredibly negative conditions facing parents and caretakers of our children. While mainstream media keeps the “Drama in DC” on their wires along with natural or so-called disasters, we don’t get the numbers affected in our neighborhoods and neighboring towns. Nor do we get a sense that we, each person, each community, can make a difference. We are fed pills of dependency and our attention becomes fixed on defending or attacking. How bad does it have to get for each of us to choose – “What am I going to focus on to contribute and leave to future generations? We invite you to share your choices and reasons for with us as we attempt to clear some clutter that impacts the lives of our future.
As the grandparent of twelve, I find that my concern about future generations increases with a shift of realizations and goals. During my children’s youth, my major concern was having them grow up and gain a quality education in an environment which honored their African heritage. That was fulfilled with my children attending Uhuru Sasa Shule and Al Karim elementary schools, which grounded them in their culture while holding high academic expectations. With that grounding they mastered the “Education-Employment” while maintaining constructive relationships with their teachers and fellow classmates.
Today, their children , my grandchildren, ranging in ages from one to twenty-one ( preschool to college), are in a different era – a troubling era where our youth are filling the prisons, killing babies, other innocents and each other on the streets where we live. As I listen to the news from independent media, I get the picture of a troubled world, one that this country is prominent in perpetuating and we citizens unknowingly contribute to.
Walter Fields, Jr., Executive Editor of the NorthStar News, wrote an article that has moved and ignited a path entitled “Killing and Dying for Respect” following the Newark shooting death of 13- year -old Zainee Hailey who was struck by a stray bullet while taking out the trash on Christmas night. Another victim, one of the boys the suspect alleged to have acted disrespectfully towards him, died from his injuries, the third victim was shot in the neck and seriously injured. A portion of this must-read for parents follows.
To access the entire article: www.northstarnews.com
“While so-called crimes of passion are not rare, many adults can’t fathom how a child could be driven to kill due to being slighted. It seems inconceivable to many people that being “dissed” could trigger such a violent response. Let alone the actions of a teenager over youthful romance. However, to dismiss the importance of “respect” among youth, particularly Black boys, is to miss the larger issue of social disconnection. We can condemn the actions of this young man and mourn the death of an innocent bystander, but we had better come to terms with the degree to which many young people harbor deep resentment and anger over their nothingness in our nation. Decades of indifference toward youth, and specifically young Black boys and men, has resulted in generations of young people who internalize any slight as threatening the little shred of humanity they possess. It is why the most innocuous comment can trigger the most extreme reaction. In communities where so little regard is shown for young people, they protect the only thing they have left – their dignity-at any and all cost.”(Walter Fields, Jr.; NorthStarNewsJan.02, 2014)
This piece has removed all questions about my focus, now 73, at the beginning of this New Year. It is working – no – ensuring opportunities for future generations to discover and contribute their innate genius and be valued by their immediate families, their neighbors, communities forming a new world block by block. We, parents, grandparents, elders have the ability to shape the future by first saving and protecting our offspring. We do that by ridding ourselves of thoughts and actions that impede, acknowledging that they are born with purpose and genius and commit to making a difference and
SAVING OUR CHILDREN. It really does depend on each and every one of us. Let’s do it in 2014!
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