Five, six, seven, eight … It’s not just how every great musician starts a song — 5/6/78 is also my birthday. This is something I have bragged about my whole life, as if I had anything to do with it. (Side note: It’s almost exactly nine months after Elvis Presley died, a very impressive piece of […]
I was heading to jujitsu with Ten, Eight, and Six (their ages, not their actual names, but it’s so much easier this way) — maybe reffing an argument or singing along to Magic 107.7, which, by the way, is amazing lately (Uncle Kracker and Madonna in one place? Don’t mind if I do!) — when we saw a gentleman on the corner of Princeton and Orange waving a big sign over his head. It said, “F*** Trump.” Only his wasn’t censored. He dropped the big one.
Like any good mom, I pointed out a completely average building in the opposite direction, but it was too late. Eight, my proudly literate second-grader, was already reading it aloud. I looked back, and he threw both hands in front of his mouth.
They’ve heard it before. (I blame the media … and also I-4 drivers who aren’t watching the road.) So, instead of gasping and clutching my pearls, I talked about it:
“We don’t use that word.”
“But the SIGN says —”
“I saw it. How do you feel about that sign?”
“It’s rude. And it’s pretty mean. And I think he’s talking about Donald Trump.”
Eight got it, and our discussion turned to the topic of rage.
We talked about how the president has said and done some things that made people mad. This guy with the sign was angry and wanted other people to be angry too. Anger elicits action.
But no one is going to look at it and say, “Well, now I’ve had it! I am going to call my congressman to encourage him or her to push for programs which would allow private U.S. citizens to sponsor Syrian refugees.”
No, anger makes people destructive and illogical, and no destructive, illogical person is going to make a positive difference.
During last year’s election, my kindergarteners’ opinions adorably parroted their parents’ thoughts on the candidates. I announced we were repainting our classroom room hot pink or dark blue. They debated the benefits of the room matching the sky or a flamingo and talked about why the room should be their favorite color.
Interestingly, no one said they chose blue just because they hated pink (or vice versa). Blue won in a landslide. The pink voters were disappointed about their loss but decided to make the best of it, find something they liked about blue, and not let it ruin their whole year.
We can be angry, but anger without a thought-out action plan is pointless — unless your ultimate goal is to break stuff.
I don’t care if you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or a Wookiee; I think everyone can agree that it’s time to calm the rage and teach our children to be leaders instead of victims.
And because I’m a #boymom, I’ll leave you with a Star Wars quote from “The Last Jedi.” Remember when Rose told Finn, “We’re going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love”? Yes, let’s focus on that.