Consciously or otherwise, we train our children to be citizens of the coming decades. If we have a particular goal in mind, however, then that training becomes a conscious and vital part of our personal living and of our parental emphasis. Take for example, lessons in democracy and freedom.
Our two eldest granddaughters take their commitment to Army Cadets seriously. Spit and polish boots, iron uniforms, slather a month's worth of hair goop on their long, thick tresses each week ("Grandma, my hair can't touch my collar"), and study, study, study. "Lest we forget" is far from a once a year Remembrance Day slogan. There's a deep sense of satisfaction that comes with knowing roots of appreciation were planted in their father's life when he was just a child.
This past weekend I attended a Candle Lighting ceremony to remember fallen soldiers from our community. For me, this was extra special simply because it wasn't November. In spite of weather that typified an autumn West Coast day rather than what should have been a warm spring day, cadets from three corps, along with commanding officers, veterans and a handful of ordinary citizens gathered at our cemetery. The weather matched my mood: somber, heavy with unshed drops of rain and dashed with a chilly wind.
I firmly believe it's vital that we teach our children that democracy, the right to vote and the privileges of living in our land do not come to us without cost; if we don't, we live in peril of losing them.
"Teach them to your children. Talk about them all the time-whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning." (Deuteronomy 11:19 - Contemporary English Version)
Light candles of freedom by passing on memories of things that matter most.