This past weekend my wife Linda and I had the joy of hosting our entire family at a cookout and pool party to (belatedly) celebrate our thirtieth anniversary. As readers of this blog probably know, we have a rather eclectic family. We are a blended family to begin with, and then in the next generations things got even more complicated. We've got biological grandchildren, and adopted grandchildren, and step-grandchildren. We've got grandkids who live with one parent, others who live with two. We've got white grandchildren, and black ones as well. And we love them all. And worry about them as well. We worry about them as individuals--who's having trouble in school, who can't seem to make friends, the usual stuff. But we also worry about them as part of a generation, a generation that will inherit the world we leave behind.
Near the end of our time together some of us went on a walk around our neighborhood. My youngest granddaughter and I were up ahead of the others when the picture was taken that accompanies this blog. It was only later that I knew she'd even taken it. And it was after looking at it several times that I realized it provides something a visual parable. Look closely, and you'll see my granddaughter and I are about to come to a fork in the road. I have her by the hand, and I'm about to lead her one way or the other. In fact she wanted to go to the right, but I told her we needed to stay to the left, so that eventually we'd get back home. She happily acquiesced, and about twenty minutes later we arrived at home. A bit sweaty (it was July in Florida after all) and having had a good conversation about life in general.
You see, what's a bit unsettling, is that she trusted me--completely. She doesn't really know my neighborhood. She could have easily gotten lost. She could have gone down the wrong road, or gotten herself turned around. And never reached home. But Pop Pop was there to guide her, to take her by the hand and make sure we went in the direction we needed to go to get home safely.
So here's the unsettling part. As I see it we (as a nation) are at a pretty big fork in the road . We can choose to be people of love, or we can choose to be people of hate. We can promote the worth and dignity of all human beings, or we can denigrate folks because of their religion, their race, their physical or mental limitations. As adults, the choice is ours to make. But make no mistake, the direction we head off in, will set the course for our children and their children as well.
We are holding the hands of our children, they trust us to know the right direction, so which way, America? Which way?