As a parent, I strive to instil certain values in my child which should see him right and hopefully make him a not terrible adult. Kindness is the main one, tolerance, understanding, empathy, good manners, elbows off the table, don’t eat with your mouth open, don’t use my sofa as a trampoline etc etc.
Kindness is at the heart of almost every life lesson we share with him. Having had people be unkind to me all of my life, I completely understand how simple acts of kindness can make a big difference and I am kind, almost to a fault. It doesn’t make me a pushover, and when I see unkindness or injustice I try and speak up, or do something to help. Often quietly, because the best acts of kindness are often the quiet ones.
Tonight we sat around the dinner table and I thought I’d talk to my six year old son about Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. It wasn’t an easy conversation, but as he’d been asking about Syria last week, it felt like a good time to have that discussion. I know some of his friends at school will talk about it, so it’s best he has a little grasp of the situation.
We talked in very simple terms about families escaping from the Syrian bombs and trying to find somewhere safe to live. We talked about what if it were us and how we might feel. We talked about how kind people might offer to help these people, who just want somewhere safe to live and go to school. And we talked about some of the families who had found a safe place, but when they arrived they were detained or sent back.
Then I told him I would be going on a protest, to show that I disagreed with the Muslim ban, that it was an unkind thing to do. I told my husband I’d had enough and he nodded his head in agreement. And I said “if not now, when?” and he squeezed my hand.
There are protests up and down the country against Donald Trump and the Muslim ban. I’ll be going to this one in Manchester, but you can find more events on Facebook. If you feel moved to stand up in support of this issue, please do. If not now, when?