So my own hypocrisy smacked me in the face today. Hard. And I have to come clean if I’m to have a prayer of working through the existential crisis that’s unfolded in the last 24 hours.
I thought that one of my core beliefs centered around equity : all students deserve access to opportunity.
But when push came to shove for me last night, I failed as a human for what I tell myself was a trade-off as a mother. I chose to advocate for separation instead of for equity in hopes of sheltering my child from exposure to what I perceived as a possibly harmful environment. Maybe my child felt better in the short term, but what have I taught him for the long haul?
Everybody struggles. I’m struggling with this. I’m looking at my own background, remembering my roots and considering how they shape my current reactions. The daughter of a truck driver, I grew up with a father who freely embraced the f-bomb as every part of speech (and in just about every sentence). Sidesplittingly funny with strong views on everything from politics to the Yankees, his language always threw me. Language was at the heart of my discomfort in both of these situations–listening to my father and the potential for that kind of language to surround my son for four nights. I’m all design thinking and empathy in school, but I didn’t honor that here.
But what if…it didn’t look like that?
What if my son had the opportunity to build bridges instead of be sheltered? What if he learned some empathy himself? Might there have been long-lasting positive effects?
When does fighting for equity outweigh concerns as a parent?
Photo credit: Volkan Olmez (Unsplash)