What This Election is Teaching our Children

There is a basic amount of decency and respect we all deserve. I learned this from my parents, I learned it from following Jesus, and I learned it from the community in rural Michigan where I grew up. And it goes without saying this election is not bringing out the decent in people. I’ve had to tell my children on more than one occasion that not everything you hear from an adults’ mouth on TV is OK…in fact, much of it is quite rude, self-serving, and downright vicious. In a culture where kids already are not taught much about empathy, this election cycle hits where it hurts. And it’s simply NOT OK. I would love to get back to a level of civility among people. What is happening in this election is setting the tone with how Americans will engage with each other. And frankly, it stinks.

I grew up Republican, but somewhere in the last 10 years, the Republican party left me. They left me in the middle. Here I am, with my economically conservative, yet socially liberal roots. I would really love a candidate who was more economically conservative, because I think it’s good for the US economy, but also was accepting of ALL the people: black, white, gay, straight, religious, non-religious (or religions different from mine).

And now I’m left with this choice that I’m not crazy about. I generally think many of the Republican ideals work – small government, letting free markets work, letting states make local decision-making. But there is something more important than all of this. And it is this question: Can I explain my choice on election day to my children? Can I tell them who I voted for, AND, am I proud for it? Do I feel good about it? Because at the end of the day, character matters. Leadership matters. Kindness Matters. It matters less to me if the government gets bigger, less to me if spending goes up, and it matters SO much more to me if I picked a candidate who extends a basic level of human decency and respect to his/her fellow person. What is most important is that we all teach our children through our actions, through our actions of voting, that we don’t name call, we don’t bully, we don’t belittle women (or anyone), no matter the cause, no matter the issue, no matter the position of power. There are some ideals that are more important than ANY of the political platforms or issues of today. So, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m crossing the aisle, I am voting for Clinton. Trump has no place in this government.

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About expatmama

Karla Oselka Walsworth is a freelance writer/blogger, born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She has lived abroad twice, most recently in London, and keeps a blog on Expat living and traveling with children, www.expatmama.wordpress.com. Living in the last five years in four different cities, her writings tend to focus on challenges of moving/living with children while exposing them to all this planet has to offer. Karla, who has her MBA from the University of Illinois, and is also a certified 200 hour yoga instructor, has settled (for this moment) in the Midwest. As a recovering accountant and budding writer, she is actively raising two children with her husband Eric, hoping to give them as global a perspective as one can, at ages 7 and 4.
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One Response to What This Election is Teaching our Children

  1. Jessica says:

    Karla, nice job. Putting children first, modeling for children is one of the best decisions we can make for our future
    Thank you for being that kind of mother, that kind of person. It makes me feel good for our grandchildren, and those in your school, church and community.

    In prayer today for our country and our children as I cast my vote with millions of others.

    Thanks Karla.

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