Sunday Reflections: What Will We Leave Them?
Every day in one way or another, my life involves thinking about children. Yes, teens hate it when you call them children, but that’s what they are – they are my kids. And then, when I go home, I have another 2 kids that I am thinking about. I look into their eyes everyday and in it they hold a question: what will you leave us? Not just me, but us. Look around, the world is in a weird place. I am not sure we are doing it right. Actually, let’s be real: we are screwing this up big time. Unemployment. Poverty. Food insecurity. Environmental issues. Drone killings. Wars. Erosion of civil liberties. We need to get a grip here people.
Perhaps I passed that magical age when I stopped thinking that I was indestructible, but here I am holding this tiny hand in mine as I walk around the block, a gentle cool breeze blowing through my bones, and I can’t help having a moment of paralyzing fear. The only thing I have to leave my children is this, my blog; my heart laid bare on the pages of your screen with the hope that you will help me make this world into a better place not just for my children, but for all the world’s children. For our future, whether that future be one day or a 1,000 days from now.
And I think now, that is in fact why I read, why I hope that we will all occasionally choose to pick up a book and read the story set forth on the page – because they have the power to stir us and move us and awaken us from our emotional slumber and call us to action.
Remember Mister Rogers, how he would walk into his house and take off his vest and change his shoes? That’s what we all need to do is change our shoes. Except when you put on a pair, they should be someone else’s. Metaphorically speaking, of course. That’s what happens when you read a book. Even the most absurd made up stories contain a glimpse into the human heart and human nature. When we read, we are choosing for a moment to allow thoughts different and bigger than us to come into our soul for us to ponder.
|Picture of Fred Rogerts from Snappy News Day|
And this blog, these are my words, the words of my friends and co-bloggers, put out into the universe with the challenge that we think about what we read, what we write, how we choose to serve and interact with our teens . . . It has oft been said that we should leave the world a little bit better than when we entered into it. I don’t know if we are doing that, but I hope we keep trying. So keep reading, keep thinking, and choose good.
|Image on Tumblr|
So I think about it, that’s all I have is this blog. But here I ask you to learn more about the issues that affect our teens, to learn more about the growing epidemics of childhood hunger and autism. I invite you to think about the culture we are creating and how our children are growing up in it, hating their bodies, erupting in violence, failing to learn the most basic of things that they need to become successful adults. I implore you in these pages to love them, to nurture them, to embrace them fully and in doing so, to let them thrive. So maybe it is no small thing, this blog. Just a few words every day, but maybe sometimes just the right words to lead someone to make a difference in this world.
Perhaps one day my children – both the ones I gave birth to and the ones I chose to sacrifice for daily – will stumble upon these words and know that I tried, that I loved them, that I did the best I could with the tools I had to leave this world a little better than when I came into it. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey.
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network