Monday, May 10, 2010

Plagued on the Playground

It's not a news flash that my family is of mixed race, which is after all, the entire premise of this blog. So you can imagine how the new immigration law in Arizona has sparked some heated conversations in our home. Most of it has been by me, yelling at the television, which I will concede is not very productive.

Thankfully, and I think it goes without saying, that all members of this household are opposed to it. But what I find most interesting is how my daughter has found herself in a position of defending her ideals and beliefs among her classmates. She is not among like minded spirits in regards to religion, race, politics or economic status, yet she possesses the amazing ability to maintain friendships and associations with these same individuals when bombarded with their opposing views.

She and her classmates have debated religious beliefs as they relate to politics, gay rights, racism, and human rights as well. She has been called names and in one instance been told that "Mexicans were not allowed at their lunch table". Needless to say I was infuriated when told of these events but she assured me that she could handle it on her own. To her credit, she has diffused the animosity aimed in her direction and in effect inspired some to at least respect her, even if they do not like her.

She and I spent this weekend alone together and she told me of the many discussions she has with her friends about religion and evolution. She questioned her friends' beliefs, thoughtfully, and really tried to understand the contradictions of their beliefs. She was not swayed by their proclamations but it was my impression that she may have caused them to question themselves. I await the backlash from these parents.

Now before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I have indoctrinated my child, well, of course she is influenced by our beliefs and our experiences but she is always encouraged to question any issue. She is not encouraged to question our authority but certainly our knowledge. I can only speak for myself but I can only hope that her beliefs, whatever they turn out to be, are her own and not just because I
said so.

To have faith, to believe in something is to understand it, to feel its truth, not just to regurgitate it over and over again. As long as she continues to seek understanding, knowledge and truth then my job will be done.