It must be serendipity. For the past few days I've been mulling over a post about a favorite meme question of mine, "what three qualities do you most want to instill in your children?", so when I saw that MamaBlogga's new Group Writing Project is about just that, or nearly so, I jumped on it. She asks bloggers to write on the theme of "3 things I want my children to..."
I could say that I want my children to start eating vegetables, or begin to clean up after themselves without being asked, or simply to get up and dressed on time in the morning with a smile on their face. (Ha! Fat chance. I'd sooner ask for the sun to stop circling the earth. Oh wait. It's the earth that spins while the sun stands still. Nevermind. Bygones.) I could have answered in many different ways, but I couldn't pass up the chance to get all introspective and serious for a few minutes, so here it is.
The three qualities I most hope to instill in my children are open-mindedness, a love of diversity, and a strong sense of self.
Open-mindedness: the ability to recognize and appreciate that there are many different and varied paths to walk, the ability to see the positive in a new approach, a new way of thinking, a new solution. To take new information or ways of thinking and judge them openly and honestly, on their merits, and to not be afraid to adopt those that are judged worthy, whether they are the popular choice or just the right one.
Diversity: To be accepting and gentle with those whose lives are on a different path, and to strive to see the beauty in the differences among us. To see that what unites us is so much stronger than that which divides us. To cherish and promote tolerance.
A strong sense of self: To believe in themselves enough, to have a strong enough sense of their own identity, that they are able to be open-minded and value diversity, to see the beauty in the ways of others without feeling threatened or diminished, but rather strengthened and confident in their own convictions. To grow up knowing who they are, and to find joy in the lifelong discovery of what they are.
And so, my children, my wish for you. Be true to yourselves, be tolerant and open-minded in your dealings with all others, and the rest will follow along.