I know that people can have a wide, beautiful view of the world without having children, but I know from personal experience, having a child has helped me stay grounded. I don't subscribe to the belief—unless you and I want to get into a beer-soaked debate on climate change—that this generation faces its darkest days.
If we understand history, then we know there have been many generations before us who've faced dark harrowing experiences. What's disappointing now—OK, so one of many things—is that it seems like no one understands the importance of knowing our history (locally and globally). Perhaps if we did, we'd look at these dark moments differently.
Perhaps. But motherhood has helped me understand that we are imperfect. We're human, and boy does it suck to be human sometimes.
Our esteemed governor has joined the bandwagon of fear and called to prevent refugees from entering our state. Fear, our greatest enemy, is something parents face everyday the moment that child is placed in your arms. Parenthood makes us stop thinking much about ourselves. But the greatest gift of parenthood is being able to look at anyone on the street that may frighten us and recognize that they are someone's child.
It's being able to look past our fears, and recognize that we are part of a global world and we can't let fear dictate how we care for each other. We've done that in past and it never turns out well. Think about the MS St. Louis, the German ocean liner carrying almost 1,000 Jewish refugees from Germany, who were denied entry in 1939 into Cuba, Canada and the U.S. They were forced to return to Europe and the war and the Holocaust—it is estimated that a quarter of these refugees died in death camps. So, of course, I think about these Syrian refugees differently and not as future terrorists.
I think about how providing homes and life for people can actually prevent terrorism. I think about my son—the biggest and best gift this life of mine has ever received. The world I want him to inherit—even with all the challenges ahead—needs to be a world of care in which we recall our history and choose good over fear.
— Mari Herreras, email@example.com