Do you watch Oprah?
Yeah, me too.
I'm not obsessed, and I often delete the DVR if I'm not immediately drawn into the day's topic, but more often than not, I find that when I stick with a show, even one that seems to hold no interest for me, I learn something and think "Man! I'm so glad I saw that!"
Such was the case a few weeks ago. She was all atwitter after the inauguration and she was talking about the event with Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, two individuals that I don't really spend much time thinking about but I was interested because they are pretty people and I always like to look at pretty people. (Erica, I'm sure you saw this one with all things Ashton...)
They were talking about the change to come and the uphill climb the president has before him. And I listened while doing the dishes, thinking yes, this man does have unblieveable obstacles in his way and I'm so glad I'm a mom to four crazy kittens and not the president of the United States ( although I would love to attend the Kennedy Center Honors sometime. Nice perk, that one). Anyway, then they said the coolest thing. They said that they discussed, as a family, what their rolls should be in making this world a better place. They came up with a pledge (abolishment of modern-day slavery in all forms) and have vowed to do all they can to make this happen. To contribute to the good of the country. To not just sit back and say "well, he failed" and point the finger, but to actually DO something about it.
So this got me thinking, as Oprah often does. Can I abolish slavery? Um, probably not. But can I do something, anything at all to contribute to the good of the world? Yeah, I probably can. And more importantly, can I teach my children that it's as much their responsibility as anyone elses? Oh yeah.
I've been thinking about this a lot and trying to come up with the right thing for me to pledge. It's hard, trying to narrow everything down to one thing but I think it's not nearly as important to worry about pledging the wrong thing as it is to just do something. (Man that sentence is confusing but hopefully you got what I'm saying.)
Demi and Ashton emphasized that every little thing helps, that every little thing is important and necessary and that no act of service is too small or seen as less important than anything else. And I appreciated this because I am a mom to four little kittens and my time, and my resources are limited. But I can do something and that's the important thing. I thought about doing more community service or making more frequent charitable contributions and although I do hope to do those, it didn't feel quite right. I've tried on several different ideas over the past few weeks and nothing was the right fit.
But now I've figured it out. So here goes:
I pledge to fully embrace motherhood and nurture my children to become the kind of people that will one day make pledges of their own.
Sounds pretty simple but I love it.
I think what I've realized and what's most important to me is that I want to cultivate children who fully understand that it is their responsibility as citizens of this country to give back. To do more for others. To take care of those around them. To see themselves as part of the solution and to not become part of the problem.
I think it's pretty easy to stand back and say "look what they have to fix!" whether it be about our politicians, our school teachers, our neighborhoods, our whatevers. But to really get in there and see what you have to offer? That's a lot harder.
And I love that this isn't about labels. This isn't about being a Democrat or being a Republican. This is about being a human being and a member of a society that has the power to do good. Real, authentic, pure-of-heart good.
I'm going to put my pledge over on my sidebar so that I''ll see it frequently and be reminded of what I want to do. Maybe it'll encourage you to make a pledge of your own, or maybe it'll make you roll your eyes and think "here she goes again!" Either way, I hope it gets you thinking.