For What It's Worth
There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear.
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware.
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down."
- "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield
This song, a noted protest song in the 60s and 70s, has been going through my head for the past month.
I'm not sure if it's just because I secretly should've been a child of that era, or if the lyrics are haunting me in light of recent events.
It does appear these days that something is afoot, but none of us are really sure what it is. All we do know is that we don't like it.
This week, shots have been fired, people have lost their lives - and in the aftermath, the families are left to pick up the pieces to the tune of political pundits getting their two cents in.
I'm not a political pundit or a political anything - I don't really have two cents to put in.
What I do have to say is from the perspective of a mother raising her daughter.
My kiddo is one of the brightest rays of sunshine God ever created. She greets each day with a sense of adventure and the willpower to get the task at hand done with.
At times, she needs her momma, but most of the time, she is without fear.
I'd like to keep her that way.
I'd like her to be able to live her life in this great American nation without fear. Without fear of being hurt or killed, without fear of being abuse and without fear of her fellow human being.
I would rather her biggest fear be of shots that involve vaccines rather than those that involve firearms, violence and destruction.
In the past, I feel for the most part America used to guarantee these things. (Perhaps not for all people equally, but that is another story.)
In return for America's citizens raising up children instilled with the values of their great nation, America generally made sure we were safe, we generally had our rights and if not, Americans were ready and able to stand and fight for those freedoms because they knew we should have them.
Freedoms should be like blankets - they should cover all people equally.
In that sense, I'm trying to hold up my end of the bargain.
I am trying to instill in my child a giving nature, one of trust and deep value. I want her to know that aside from loving God beyond anything else, Jesus called us to love our neighbor as ourself.
I want her to walk her faith not because I told her to, but because she knows it is right, good and true.
As parents, we try to model the appropriate and best behavior for our children - it doesn't always work, but we do try. We have tried to show our kiddo that knowledge is good, knowing what you believe is better and also, that civil discourse is a good and noble thing.
We have tried to teach her that in our nation, you can pursue your dreams, and you should do so with gumption, grit and perseverance. Giving up is not an option - trying harder is.
In all of these things and more, I have tried to pass on that set of values that I learned from a young age were as American as apple pie and the Bill of Rights.
Now, I'm just hoping that America follows through on its end of the bargain.
I am hoping that the coming generations will be given protection from violence, all the rights that go hand in hand with American values and that if something is amiss, they will also know they have the right to say so.
I pray, as a mother, a believer and a citizen of this United States of America, that those who have been hurt, maimed or died in the past few days and their families are comforted by the only one who can comfort them - God.
I pray that violence will not beget violence, but rather conversations that end with real solutions.
We aren't playing some kind of game here - these are the lives of Americans we are dealing with.
We have to stop, look at what's happening and try to forge ahead with what is best for our people.
That's what I think, for what it's worth.