When the world seems a dark place to be where can we find the light? What do we say to our children who question their own safety, the wellbeing of others, and the terror that defies imagination and breaks the heart?
Last week’s A Mojo Minute newsletter was titled “Peace among pain.” Given the recent events in Paris and around the globe, it seemed both ironic and foreboding. Once again I am confronted with having to find myself in hard conversations with my teenage daughters about the world we live in. Boston Marathon bombings. Sandy Hook Elementary School. College shootings. Lost airliners. Aurora movie theater. Syria. Ferguson. Paris. Enough.
Yet, these difficult moments are opportunities to share our values, the subtle beacons of light that make visible how we think and feel about humanity.
As a spark amidst the darkness I was blessed to have seen Rick Hanson, PhD, present a keynote address at the “Learning and the Brain” conference in Boston. Dr. Hanson is a mentor to me and has written several influential books, including The Buddha’s Brain and Hardwiring Happiness on the neuroscience of wellbeing. “Our world is poised on the edge of a sword, and it could tip either way,” he writes. Of course, it’s up to us to tip it in a better direction. On Friday before the news hit (which also happened to be World Kindness Day), he reminded us as parents, teachers and clinicians how important it is “to be on your own side” and to help our children understand this.
It’s a general moral principle that the more power you have over someone, the greater your duty is to use that power benevolently. Well, who is the one person in the world you have the greatest power over? It’s your future self. You hold that life in your hands, and what it will be depends on how you take care of it. (Rick Hanson, The Buddha’s Brain)
That’s the message I want my daughters to take in. They can tip the balance. May they go forward with love and kindness for themselves and with compassion for others. I wish the same for you.
Founder, and Chief Mojo Officer
- When the media is blaring bad news and violent images how can we talk to our children about it? CommonSenseMedia.org has a great ages and stages advice.
- Self-Compassion is essential to living a meaningful life. See a BodiMojo blog post on how we can nurture it in our children.
- Sign up for the BodiMojo weekly e-tip, A Mojo Minute, created for grownups – parents, educators and mentors of children and adolescents.
Photo Credit: 2014 (c) iStockPhoto