Parenting is an intense labor of love, in which we do the labor and we have the love. But what are we doing right or doing wrong? And what is love?
Parenting is a challenging job that comes with no guidelines and no equal exchange. It does not guarantee that your child will fulfill your dreams for him. It requires almost twenty years of childrearing commitment, a high financial cost in today’s world, and countless hours of sheer hard work. The moment your child arrives, your life is changed forever.
The September 11th tragedy has forever touched, changed and redefined the lives of many people at home and abroad. I felt the anguish and intense grief of families who lost their loved ones in the World Trade Center. The sudden nature and the magnitude of losses would always be in their hearts and minds. How could we make sense of such horrific event? How could we take this tragedy and turn it into something good? It would be like rising out of the rubble and creating a monument from ashes. How could we heal, and could we ever be healed? Where is the hope of peace for our children?
The shift to more compassion and greater peace doesn’t happen overnight. Progress goes up and down, not in a straight line, but hopefully toward an upward trend. We parents labor hard to raise our children and do our best for them. In the foggy mist of the Earth’s darkness, our best efforts oftentimes go in conflicting directions. We try but remain baffled, as if we cannot go above our starting point. However, through unconditional love, we can move to higher ground.
Through love, we will become one. Love breaks down barriers, divisiveness and hatred. People’s hearts can be strung together through the thread of empathy and compassion. The heart is the center in which humanity is to heal and be transformed. We need to take out the fears, the hostility and hatred and to replace them with understanding and compassion. Love is peace that begins with oneself and in the family and then ripples outward to the community and the world.