Safe Spaces and Changing our Approach

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Little Surprises

Over the past two days, I have found these little notes floating around the house.  My daughters have been leaving them for my wife and me.  We find them in the car, on the mirror, in our favorite chair, or in our garage gym.  They have been excited for us to find them and they are constantly telling us to cover our eyes so they can “hide” another one.
hearts of encouragementAnd there is a part of me that says this parenting thing is working out.  They are noticing all that their mother and I do to try and provide for them.  They see all that we are trying to do to set a good example.

But maybe we can learn something from them too.   Maybe we have a few lessons to learn from the girls that are six and three…

Lessons from Little Ones…

They are teaching us all that maybe we should not spend all of our time looking for reasons to hate.  Maybe, just maybe, in this day and age of we should start with finding what we like about each other.  These little girls are walking through the days looking for reasons to love us and each other.  Then they are sharing that.  The notes will eventually disappear, but the lesson does not have to.  None of these notes say thanks for taking me on this trip or thanks for buying me stuff.  They say thanks for the kisses, thanks for trying hard, thanks for taking me to your office…thanks for macaroni and cheese.

The world needs a few more thank you notes.  The times we are living in need a few more reminders that people are good.  And we, as human beings, need to take the time to see the good things before we decide that we are excellent judges of character.

Changing the World

If we are ever going to see a true and lasting change in our country and our world, we need more notes showing the world that we embrace the good.  We have to start changing things so safe spaces are not merely places where people who think, act, and look the same gather.  Safe spaces have to be spaces where our wounds can be exposed, our differences embraced and there is no rejection because we see the world through a different lens.

We need to take those lenses off, pass them to the left and right and see what solutions we come up with together.  I see the struggle and fight within you…and I embrace it.  Real lasting solutions when we start putting up a little note of encouragement for the very person we struggle to embrace the most.

Just like my girls do not sway my opinion of their bedtime because they throw a fit, yelling, screaming, stomping feet…we are not going to get anywhere setting that example as adults.  It is time to see the example that others are setting, see the obstacles they have overcome, acknowledge that through it all they are still standing, fighting, struggling to get through…and deep down, they probably want some encouragement just as much as we do.