As a mother, my best measure of accountability tends to be when I try to see things through the eyes of my kids. What will they see, think, understand, or remember about a given situation based on my life?
As they go about their lives and draw on their memories of me as their example, what will they remember?
Will they remember my frustration with their shenanigans at bedtime as my “normal” way of being? Or will they remember my apologies?
Will they emulate the way I treat Scott when I’m tired and angry as the way spouses should treat one another? Or will they remember our long conversations focused on repairing our hurts?
Is my response to the suffering and conflict in the world teaching them to be afraid, to hunker down, to avoid contact and defend themselves with power?
Or, am I teaching them openness, humility and love?
How will they remember the dinner table conversations about the refugees? Will they remember me being unable to speak through my tears as weakness, or an aching heart, longing to help?
What about terrorists and persecution? Will they leave our home with confusion, fear and arrogance or will they rest in the peace and hope that is ours?
What will they remember about being “excluded” from friend groups? Are we helping them turn that pain into empathy, through language of inclusion and love? Are we modeling that in our own relationships?
When they hear about prejudice, have we taught them by example, to see all humanity as equal, despite skin color, religious views or any other differences?
I sure hope so.
How do we talk about police officers and teachers? Do we respect their position of authority whether we like their delivery or not?
Are we kind to strangers, homeless people and animals? Or do we look away with fear and disregard?
I hope they remember things like generosity, openness, kindness, humility and love as the main markers of our lives.
There is so much conflict going on around us, it’s easy to be afraid, angry and defensive. But knowing that I’m modeling how to live for my children, keeps me accountable to continue reassessing my words, my choices and my behavior. Especially my humble apologies when I mess up and do it all wrong.
What keeps you accountable?
What is this intense state of conflict in the world teaching you?
If you let it, it can teach you to love, now more than ever.
That’s what I’m rooting for.
to more love,