We must do better
July 13, 2022
The recent mass shooting tragedy in Texas was felt very deeply by many of us. Many of us, myself included, have children and the thought of dropping them off at school and never seeing them again is heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers will continue to go to all the families affected. When I saw the news, the first thing that came to my mind, was this shooter was a very damaged child who was clearly full of anger that many can’t even comprehend.
Having the opportunity to visit schools in underserved areas and the obstacles the children face has opened my eyes immensely. Title one schools provide each child with a breakfast and lunch to make sure they are fed. Again, the thought of a little one literally starving just makes my heart hurt. This is just ONE hurtle a child could be up against daily at a very young age. In some cases, the teachers will also put extra food in their backpack-very discreetly-to make sure the child doesn’t starve over the weekend. You can add other struggles like abuse, neglect and simply just not being wanted to the puzzle and before you know it, there is a very confused, sad, and damaged child trying to make his/her way. The toughest part to digest is that these children have no way of changing their circumstances. At three or four years old, the child must simply suffer. At times this can create a child, that of course, has many mental problems and they are set off on a path that usually doesn’t end in a positive result.
I can still remember the day one of my warrior moms said that her daughter was cleared to start school even while fighting cancer, but she was afraid her classmates would tease her, about being bald. I was so sad for her, and I wanted to immediately go to her school and educate her entire class about what fighting cancer looks like, and that her classmates should be celebrating Heidi, not make fun of her.
In my heart I know we can take positive steps in a different direction to make this world a better place. We can support children in small ways that can eventually add up and make a BIG difference. If you are a parent and you are reading this, please take a few moments to talk to your child about things like:
1. What a child fighting cancer might look like-be kind.
2. If they see a classmate with no food-share theirs.
3. A classmate all alone on the playground- include them.
4. A classmate being bullied-report it to a teacher.
5. If they see a classmate with a bald head and is fighting cancer-give them a high five and include them.
Children fighting cancer and children dealing with unimaginable circumstances want nothing more than to feel like a kid. They don’t want to be constantly reminded of what their struggles on a daily basis. Our kids are like a sponge, THEY ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING TO EVERY WORD WE SAY. We need to be more mindful and use encouraging words like: helping, sharing, teamwork, kindness, and include each other.