The days we welcomed our children into our lives are etched in our memories forever. We remember the relief, the surprise, the perfection, the disbelief and the overwhelming love for these beautiful precious babies we had created. These perfect beings had lived within us, grown inside us, and were protected as much as possible from the outside world and all its dangers. We knew we would love them forever, however long forever was to be.
We changed forever too. No longer was life just about us. No matter how selfless we might have believed ourselves to be prior to becoming parents, our children’s arrival changed our perspective on everything. A love we never knew existed was also born and no longer could we look at the world with unaffected eyes. Our children knew nothing of our fears, worries and concerns for them. They were too small, too new and too innocent to know any of it.
It’s said ignorance is bliss, well innocence certainly is. Innocence doesn’t care about colour, creed, gender, sexuality or ethnicity. Innocence doesn’t know hate. Innocence doesn’t breed hate. Innocence sees a friend as a friend and the world as a beautiful place full of variety.
We live in frightening times. The recent terror attacks have horrified and broken the hearts of all who have watched the reports on television, read the articles in the newspapers, and heard the stories of the people behind the numbers. They have also made us all feel so very vulnerable. Vulnerability can lead to fear, the perfect breeding ground for hate. Extremity thrives in a climate of fear.
As parents we have a duty to protect our children from many things. We have a duty to keep them safe. The world is not a perfect place full of good people sadly, and we have a duty to teach our children to be wary of those who might do them harm or pose a threat. Who constitutes a threat, however, is not defined by a person’s colour, creed, gender, sexuality or ethnicity. It can only be defined by the actions of the individual. Our children are not born knowing hate. Only we can teach them that and we have a duty to protect them from it.