The words peace and love get thrown around a lot. Parents want to have peace and love in their families. People in all religions and cultures talk about peace and love in the world. It seems to me that there's often a disconnect between what people say and their actions. This week an online organization called One Million Moms demanded that JC Penney fire Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson because she's gay. And JC Penney refused.
The organization that I founded, the Million Mamas Movement, is not aligned or affiliated with that organization. An essential aspect of the Million Mamas Movement vision is to model inclusivity. A person's sexual preference is their own business. It is vitally important for our children to see acceptance and inclusivity modeled so that they learn to embrace their own uniqueness. When people feel good about themselves, bullying and hate crimes do not occur. We love Ellen DeGeneres and congratulate JC Penney for retaining her as their spokesperson.
What happened with Ellen DeGeneres is bullying on a grand scale. In order to eliminate bullying, we must develop greater empathy and compassion for ourselves. When we yell at our children, make them wrong for original thoughts, dress and behavior, what are we telling them? When billboards abound with violent and sexually explicit content and photos for our children from birth through adult years to view, what do we think is going into their minds? When a war that was initiated around fabricated motives ravages the lives of countless civilians, as well as soldiers and their families, for well over 10 years, is there really a question about why bullying is happening? Where does the unexpressed rage and frustration at injustice get acted out?
In order for us to have peace and love in the home, we must have peace and love in our hearts. It's an inside job. We must be willing to search our hearts, uncover and discover where we are holding anger, resentment, unforgiveness, blame and shame and be willing to embrace this within ourselves with as much love and acceptance as is possible. Then we are more able to accept others uniqueness. We must practice compassionate communication.
When we don't accept all of ourselves, the unexpressed parts have to find an avenue of expression. That avenue of expression is often through some manifestation of violence in some way toward ourselves or another human being, whether it is a feeling of being worthless and unloved or lashing out against those around us. For those who are unable to feel and express their feelings constructively, depression may become their overriding emotional set-point.
Children model the behavior and coping mechanisms of those around them. When we model empathy and compassion, we foster these qualities in our children. The hormonal landscape of tweens and teens would be better supported if we embraced our own shadows -- and our own light. Let's find where peace and love exist within us and make welcome more peace and love into our hearts. Our lives do depend on this. As a matter of fact, our children's lives depend on this, too.
Let's give our children the wherewithal to be safe to be who they are by cultivating empathy and compassion. If you desire peace, be more peaceful. If you desire love, be more loving. If you don't know how to do this, ask people you trust to guide you through this uncharted territory so you feel supported. You will see that what you put out returns to you exponentially amplified and the world around you transforms.
Copyright © Wendy Silvers 2012
Wendy Silvers is a Creative Activist Member at Creative Visions Foundation. Click here for more information about the MillionMamasMovement.org
"Creative Visions Foundation is a publicly supported 501(c)3, which supports Creative Activists who use the power of the media and the arts to affect positive change in the world. All donations are tax deductible."
HuffPost Parents offers a daily dose of personal stories, helpful advice and comedic takes on what it’s like to raise kids today. Learn more