There are times when I look at my kids and just want to weep for them. I want them to grow up in a world of light and peace, and am instead faced every time I read the news with the horrors of the world. Somewhere along the way, the world has decided to go a bit crazy for the time being, and there’s not a lot I can do about that. My oldest saw a picture of a man holding a gun in an article I was reading about the shooting at the community college and she asked why he was holding a ‘shooter.’ I told her that sometimes, bad people use guns for bad things. She, loving her school and seeing it as her second home, responded that at least she knew she was safe when she was there. I had to tell a 4 year old what to do if her school was being shot up. That is not a conversation that should have to happen – but reality and safety trump idealism.
In the wake of Paris, it becomes even trickier. I don’t want her to see Muslims, or anyone who doesn’t look like her, and automatically think they are to be feared. I want her to know that people of all faiths can be good, and people of all faiths can be bad. I want her to continue to see the humanity in humans, not the hatred that so often invades us. I don’t want her to think that she needs to live in fear, but instead know that love and light will eventually root out many bad things. Evil hides in darkness because that’s what it needs to succeed. It’s why dictators quash any outside influence. It’s why terrorists’ biggest objective seems to be to get everyone to hate everyone else. Hate is easy – it comes to us all too naturally. Love is much more powerful, and much harder to achieve.
There’s no answer to this. There’s nothing that I can do today to stop evil. Instead, I encourage this little girl – who is a fireball of awesome – to understand the importance of other people. We talk about how everyone’s job is important and contributes to the world. We talk about people who live lives that aren’t like ours. And I hug her when things get too scary. And try to not let her see me cry for her.