Across the pond, one dad hopes for a positive change to come out of the current quarantine situation.
“A child is born with no state of mind, blind to the ways of mankind…” – Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five.
I have been thinking a great deal about these words from this legendary rap group. I was led to this conclusion: if we are to change our reality, we must teach and demonstrate to our children what a better world looks like, and that it can be achieved.
When this pandemic hit our shores and we all gradually moved into quarantine, Americans began to see the erosion of our collective normal. We witnessed businesses shuttering their doors, saw heart-wrenching images of hospital workers riddled with fatigue and communities becoming overwhelmed by grief and confusion.
As we moved deeper into this quarantine life, many have grown restless and despondent.
A return to normal
These sentiments are being vividly captured in the shifting tone of social media postings. Pandemic posts have become less humorous and more serious and political. As well, anti-quarantine protests have started to erupt across America’s divided landscape. Americans understandably want to return to their previous normal.
What exactly constituted this previous normal?
There is no easy answer to this question. Normalcy for one may be abnormal or completely unusual to another. Telling your child to be extra careful while away from the home because they may unfairly get arrested, killed, or gunned down by police or an over zealous neighbor because of the color of their skin, is a normal conversation for many Black and Brown Americans.
For instance, Black Americans are still collectively grieving the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. White Americans would most likely not consider this a normal conversation to engage in with their children because this is not their everyday life experience. We fall on different sides of the fence on this subject, and unfortunately many other life situations.
Because we are isolated in our separate communities and social media bubbles, we rarely get the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about our differences, and more importantly, the ties that bind us all – like the love we have for our children.
As a fatherhood advocate, I represent and interact with many fathers of all races. I can comfortably say most of the fathers, I encountered over the years, have one undeniable motivating force; they love and want their children to inherit a better world than the one we all we received.
Clarion call to fathers
Most fathers want their children’s normal to be peaceful, prosperous and blessed with longevity. However, no child will have sustained normalcy if all children aren’t able to know and live the higher tenets of a normal life.
I am reminded of the prolific words of President Abraham Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” If we continue to ignore the wants and needs of others and teach our children, either directly or indirectly to do the same, our house will fall and our children will suffer greatly as a consequence of our irresponsible actions.
This should stand as a clarion call to fathers throughout this country, no matter your race, creed or religion. If we truly desire a better world for our children, we must move towards making this happen, today. We have to initiate meaningful dialogue. We must create safe spaces where we can discuss the obstacles dividing us and work together to fashion solutions that speak to our indiviual and collective circumstances.
Ignite the spark
It is time to abandon our weighted egos and outdated thinking, which have kept us endlessly circling the same ineffective solutions and myoptic perspectives. We need to embrace our differences, celebrate our past accomplishments and collectively look towards the future with a renewed vision and one unstoppable goal: make this world a better home for all our children.
There is still hope for us all. However, hope without action is a dream destined to fade once we open our eyes. Please don’t allow this to happen. Let’s not sit idly by watching our children’s future fade into despair and hopelessness.
Please use the extra time we all have, during this quarantine, to initiate concrete actions to ignite a spark that once joined with the sparks of other determined fathers and men of good will rise into a flame of change, and become an immutable symbol of hope for all our children to see, and to follow.
This article was originally published here.
Mark Winkler is an author and motivational Speaker. Be sure to check out his newly published book, My Daughter’s Keeper, the compelling story of a father who risked everything to remain in his daughter’s life. Available at Amazon and other online outlets.