A lot has happened in your life. It’s rightly made you cynical about some things, be it politics, relationships, or other people. A lot has happened in history, too, and anyone who has ever read a book will have trouble shaking the fact that a lot of lies have been told, a lot of horrible rigging of the system has happened and a lot of that contributes to the mess we’re in now.
It feels sometimes like the more you read, the more you experience, the harder it is to feel anything but despair or anger. It’s understandable, but guess what? You have kids now and you don’t get to be a cynical, angry person. Because you’re responsible for the next generation.
It is imperative that we give our children hope. It doesn’t matter how woke you are. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through. You have to explain the world to your kids in a way that empowers them with agency, that shows them progress is (and has been) possible, that as awful as things are, the world still has good bones, as we’ve said before.
This has become a real problem with some of the social justice curriculum and culture that has spread among parents. Yes, there are alarming systemic issues. Yes, society—all of us—have been complicit in that. But does that mean that everything is broken and nothing can be fixed? Of course not—in fact, it’s that kind of cynical passivity that was partly responsible for the injustices of the past!
We have to believe in our kids. We have to believe in people. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to have hope. We have to teach them, unflinchingly, the reality of the past—no one is saying otherwise. But we also have to teach them, as we’ve said, that all problems are figureoutable. We have to show them that they can make a difference and equip them with the skills, the resources and the responsibility to do so.
No one and nothing is irredeemable. Especially your kids’ future.