Hmmm....Should I post on how I still can't make or receive calls in my home, or my office, or on the way from my office to the kids' school....which is kind of why I wanted a cell phone in the first place, but how I'm enjoying the texting and apps, and cool stuff like that?Or should I post on our whirlwind Thanksgiving trip that will include 3 different sleeping locations? Read: schlepping in and out of three different houses, plus lots of driving, plus very little eating on the part of my very picky eater. Unless you count Taco Bell, which isn't very Thanksgiving-y. On the positive side: It'll be much easier to make a Run for the Border using the GPS on my phone-less phone.
What I really want to post about today is EVIL. I just can't get it out of my mind. You see, I've been learning more and more about evil acts that took place in my close-knit community a few years ago and how the repercussions go on and on. I'm thinking about how lives were ruined, families splintered, innocence lost.
And I'm considering how although we can't eradicate evil, we can EXPOSE it. And I'm wondering if, when faced with evil, I'm strong enough to do that, and whether my kids are, too.
You see, although evil is cunning and quite capable of deceiving everyone around it, I wonder how often we ignore subtle signs, still small voices inside us--the hair that pricks up on the back of our necks, and ALLOW evil to prosper in our midst. I'm thinking about how sometimes we choose silence, image, privacy, and propriety when we should choose to get messy and loud and obnoxious.
Let me give you an example. When I taught school a million years ago, a student brought a gun into my classroom. This was pre-Columbine, so it felt like a whole different world than the one we live in today. But two brave students felt fearful enough, and brave enough, to tell me about the gun. Did I shout it from the rooftops, informing the community what had happened-- exposing the evil to its fullest?
No. I turned the kid in to the school, and he was expelled, but I never discussed it with the wider community because I didn't want the school I loved so much to look bad. I'm not even sure I told Tom. A few years later I was at a party and the guy was there, free as a bird, drinking a beer, and I felt sick with myself for not exposing him more than I did.
Another time a dear friend put one of my kids in a very dangerous situation because she was trying to protect her family's image at the expense of my child's safety.
I also wonder about my kids' ability to deal with evil. You see, I've spent a decade telling them to be polite, not make waves, go with the flow-- especially the one to whom little things have always seemed like such HUGE things. I did not want them to turn into the demanding kids I seem to attract like a magnet. The ones who rifle through my cupboards, tell me my house is dirty, and let me know of every injustice, real or perceived, they face.
But now, I've ended up with kids who are so inward they don't want to knock on the neighbors' doors to see if they can play. So inward they don't tell me what's on their minds and hearts unless it's bedtime, in the dark, and I pry. A lot. I fear that this inwardness will be a perfect breeding ground for keeping secrets and hurts that need to be exposed to the light.
I believe there are times to go AGAINST the flow. To stand up. To have a voice and say, "NO! That's NOT okay!" and I wonder if my kids have that in them. I do know one of them is perfectly capable of saying, "NO!" to certain writing assignments, but that is not what I'm talking about.
I've tried hard to get my high-strung kids to go along with authority, but I don't want them to
when people in power over them are wrong, or dangerous, or evil.
Have you read the book, "The Gift of Fear?" I haven't, but I have seen the Dateline/20-20 shows about the importance of instinct, and of acting on it even if it seems weird or impolite.
So, I'm not sure where I'm going with this except to challenge us to be vigilant. And brave. And tenacious. And obnoxious if necessary. And to talk to each other, even if it's awkward. To speak up if something seems "off."
Because so much depends on that.