The Kids Are All Right

martin-luther-king-jr-quotes-2

So how did you spend your Inauguration day? Although my latest posts described a number of options we had here in the Triangle for marking the day, I didn’t go to any of those. I had my own special type of celebration.

My son had invited a number of his friends from homeschooling to our house to have dinner, make music, and play board games. So I spent the day cleaning up the house and preparing to feed seven young people with teenage-sized appetites.

One drawback about homeschooling is that it that it draws a less diverse population than the corresponding public school would be. However, the homeschool students invited to dinner that night included:

  • a young woman whose mother immigrated from Vietnam
  • a young man whose parents were both originally Japanese Canadians, although they are now American citizens
  • a young woman whose family immigrated from India and who are devout Muslims
  • a young man whose mother is Buddhist
  • a young man who was adopted from Tunisia into a family that also adopted two other children from Kazakhstan, one of whose father was Korean

And then there is my son. On my husband’s side, he is a seventh-generation native of Cary, which was just a small railroad stop outside of Raleight for over a hundred years until the 1960s, when IBM and some other corporations opened operations in the newly-created Research Triangle Park. Nearby Cary became a boom town for transplanted Northerners looking for a better place to raise a family, growing from a population of about 5,000 people to its current total of over 150,000—all within my husband’s lifetime.

So my son, on my husband’s side, could not have come from a more traditional, stereotypical small-town Southern family. The family actually owns a ledger book from a some-number-of-great grandfather of theirs in which he recorded his buying and selling of slaves.

And yet, look at who my son’s friends are. They are all just as American as this son of a son of some number of sons of a slaver owner.

Next week, he is hosting another group of friends. In that group, not only will there be some gay or transgender youths as well as straight young men and young women, but there will be children whose parents or grandparents immigrated from Thailand, from Russia/Ukraine, from China, from Turkey (via England).

And who are these youths? They are all just Americans.  They are all just humans.

Another great spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi, once said, “If we are to reach real peace in this world …, we shall have to begin with children.” So I can look at the news and see conflict and strife and separation. Or I can look at my living room, and see peace breaking bread around my dining table. I watch these group of young people whose ancestors came from such different places, such different cultures, as they literally harmonize with each other, making beautiful music together without regard to differences in the tint of their skin, what they worship, or who they love.

And I know which one is the truth.

I believe in our children.

They get the job done.

 

Martin Luther King quote image by CelebQuote.  All rights reserved.

 

 


3 thoughts on “The Kids Are All Right

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