Scrolling through my feed this morning my hope was knocked down a little as I swiped up past numerous shockingly ignorant posts. Some calling to cease our refugee program because of its link to terror attacks by extremist muslims, some expressing outrage over gender neutral public toilets or school uniforms, some slamming anyone in support of ethical food production processes. I don’t know why it continues to shock me. This lack of awareness, lack of a thirst for knowledge, this wilful and deliberate ignorance… It’s not a new phenomenon.
I remember in my first job where I worked in a professional ‘grown up’ environment my Dad’s words after listening to my frustration were, ‘sadly, common sense is not so common,’ echoed in my first job as a teacher where possibly my most valued mentor said to me in another of my frustrated moments ‘If normal is the majority, people like you and I are not normal.’
After having my Hope dented and while contemplating a mass Facebook friend cull to save myself the angst, I was alerted to an hope-restoring memory. Our ‘words can’t describe how great she is’ nanny celebrating Australia voting yes to equal marriage rights by discussing all kinds of love and that it knows no bounds, while painting beautifully bright rainbows with our two youngest. A smile inadvertently spread across my face. Her words were:
‘Painting rainbows in celebration of the same sex marriage results 🌈🎨
They don’t know why I’m so happy, or how symbolic this painting is. But they do know that love knows no boundaries, and I’m now certain that the future will be as bright as the colours they chose for this masterpiece. #lovewins #australiawantsequality’
I’m now reflecting on how grateful I am that the people who influence my children most are people committed to being educated in, and advocates for, issues of social justice and human dignity. People who value compassion and being a voice for the silenced. People who value curiosity and questioning, learning, perspective and progressiveness.
If only all children were so lucky.