The Mom Stop: Love will bring peace in the world
A friend told me last week that we don’t live in a kind world anymore.
If you look at recent news headlines — terrorist attacks in Brussels, atrocities in Syria and Iraq and vitriol on the presidential campaign trail — perhaps it’s true that the world isn’t kind.
Even in this country, a mass shooter killed 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 and other shootings continue to happen each year. As I kiss my first-grader and send her off to school each morning, my mind sometimes goes to those Sandy Hook first-graders and their parents. What an atrocity, but I find it devastating that this country hasn’t changed as a result.
In Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley recently got caught in a sexual conversation with one of his advisers and the governor’s relationship is now being investigated. It’s a state where the speaker of the House of Representatives was indicted on 23 ethics violations but still overwhelmingly re-elected.
Should I worry about the future of my children as they forge their way into the world? I think every parent does, in one way or another. But am I fearful of the future? No.
The history of our world is a very violent one: Pol Pot, Hitler, Genghis Khan, and other rulers slaughtered millions upon millions of people. We’ve had two world wars.
But as another friend of mine stated after the Brussels attacks, love is the steadfast source of peace. While there are people who promote fear, bitterness, exclusivity, violence, prejudice, intolerance and religious persecution, they are no match for love and kindness.
As Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood once said, ““When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
While the world today can be an awful and scary place, I believe in the good in people, which brings me hope for the future. In covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I witnessed people in despair clinging to the fact that although they had lost everything, they were still alive.
As a journalist, I’ve seen people who had very little reach out to give what they had to help others.
After the April 27, 2011, tornado ravaged Tuscaloosa, I saw strangers helping strangers in my neighborhood. People helped dig people out of the rubble while other brought food, water and clothing to those in need. There was a man who showed up at my house with a chainsaw in the hours after the storm, clearing trees and debris. No one told him to, but he knew what needed to be done.
Is the world different? Perhaps. But I haven’t lost hope. I believe deeply in kindness and love above all. And that’s the world I want my children to inherit.
— Lydia Seabol Avant writes The Mom Stop for The Tuscaloosa News, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.