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Dec 23, 2013
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A Wish for My Children to be Passionate, Fair and Righteous

A Wish for My Children to be Passionate, Fair and Righteous

Recently at a parent-teacher conference, the words used to describe my four-year-old were “righteous,” “fair,” and “passionate.” I have never felt so proud.

 I have made no secret about standing up for what I believe in and trying to proactively ignite change. Whether it is the latch on the local playground, Styrofoam at my favorite ice cream parlor or phthalates in major brand beauty products.

I’ve found that 99.9% of people will walk by graffiti on a wall and think “Oh that’s a shame. Someone should do something about that.” But so few of us will actually take the one minute to report the graffiti with a simple iPhone app.

“Someone should do something about that.” I want my children to be that someone.

It must be easier to just ignore all the injustice, bad practices, messes in the world. And, of course, no one can do everything and we have to choose our battles. But I believe what I read in Zoe Weill’s book Most Good Least Harm that true, meaningful happiness comes from living a more conscious life and not abiding by “ignorance is bliss.”

If we always wait for someone else to do something about the problems in our community or our planet, we render ourselves helplesss. If we ignore problems that do not impact us directly, that makes us self-absorbed. I want my children to be empowered and bold and compassionate. I want them to take a stand for what they believe in.

That said, wouldn’t it be a kick in the ass if they ended up protesting outside an abortion clinic or crusading against gay rights? I suppose that sort of terrible irony is not impossible, but hopefully unlikely. I hope it isn’t foolish to hope that if I can raise them to be self-starting, impassioned “doers,” I can also instill enough of my own belief system for them to use that power for what I consider to be “good.”

In the meantime, I wish for my children to be like a few of my dear friends who are true “passionate doers of the righteous:”

Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and a powerful force in protecting the river against threats including shale fracking and drilling, dredging, dumping, pollution and detrimental construction.

Julie Hancher, a local green blogger who is fighting tirelessly for plastic bag regulation in Philadelphia.

Tamara Rubin, a mother of three on a crusade against the real dangers of lead poisoning.

Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, a brilliant filmmaker working to bring her movie Toxic Baby to a larger audience

Leah Segedie, whose own journey to health inspired a continuing battle for GMO labeling and against junk food marketing to children

And there are so many more who keep me inspired every day and let me know I am not alone in my thoughts and actions. I am so proud to count people like these as colleagues and friends and hope my children will mirror the actions of the fair and righteous crusaders!

Paige Wolf is a Philadelphia mom and author of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. This post is adapted from her blog, Spit That Out!

 

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About This Blog

Outstanding Delaware Valley mom and dad bloggers share insights about their kids or themselves, family experiences or ways they handled parenting situations. Their items — often reposted from their blogs — reflect everyday experiences that anyone can relate to rather than political viewpoints or belief systems.

MomSpeak Contributors

Trish Adkins, Yoke
Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Chris Bernholdt, DadNCharge
Stacy Heenan Biscardi, Wifty & Shifty
Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps
EJ Curran, Four Little Monsters
Darla DeMorrow, The Pregnant Entrepreneur
Rachée Fagg, Say It Rah-Shay
Raya Fagg, And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ
Mara Gorman, The Mother of All Trips
Stephanie Glover, A Grande Life
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Jean Ladden, Jean's Book Reviews
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Toni Langdon, Tickles and Time Outs
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Jeanine Ludwikowski, Mommy Entourage
Kathryn M. Martin, Mamacado
Jeanne McCullough, Mom Hearts Pinot
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Lindsey Schuster, Sisters to Sons
Sandra Telep, West Philly Mama
Marissa Kiepert Truong, Land of Once Upon a Time
Lisa Weinstein, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein
Shivaun Williams, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion)
Paige Wolf, Spit That Out!

If you are a Philadelphia-area parenting blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.

 

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