Love In A Big World: Tragedy and justice

September 1st, 2017

The events of the past few weeks have rocked our nation. From Charlottesville to the Great American Eclipse to Hurricane Harvey, we have been riding a roller-coaster of emotions…fear, anger, wonder, gratitude, sadness, compassion. These epic occurrences are ripe for conversations. What do we say to each other and to our children?

My email accounts and social feeds have been filled with invitations to give to flood victims in Houston. One particularly striking image was of trucks pulling boats lined up on Interstate 90 trying to get to those in need. Newscasters, government officials and friends continually remark about the beauty and strength of human spirit that is displayed during tragedy.

People have an insatiable appetite for justice — we want to do right by others. In his TEDTalk, Daniel Pink explores the research on motivation and explains that people work harder when they know they are making a positive contribution. It’s no surprise that Wonder Woman is the top-grossing film of the summer. Superhero movies offer sustained hope and certain victory in our post 9/11 world. Like these heroes, when we see others in need and we feel compelled to respond.

My prayer is that through the chaos, we will discover our common ground. Let’s set aside our differences and come together to serve. We are all God’s kids who need clothes to wear, food to eat, a safe place to live and people who love us.

Here are some ideas for talking with kids about these uncertain times:

  • Touch base on the headlines. Be honest and keep them informed as much as it is age-appropriate. A steady diet of the news may only breed anxiety. Children need to know that they are safe and secure.
  • Stay connected with family members and friends in affected areas. Phone calls, texts, emails and social media posts provide assurance to all that these important relationships are intact.
  • Volunteer and donate. Kids can help pack supply boxes or clean-up buckets. The project may take a bit more time, but teaching kids the value of serving others is more than worth it. The pennies kids give can add up to big money.

Our generosity not only helps those in need, but it can also transform us. This, my friends, is Love In A Big World!

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