Aha! Parenting Blog

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The arc of the moral universe bends towards justice -- with the help of parents.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” - Dr. Martin Luther King

What a hopeful idea! All over the internet today, we're seeing that uplifting quote. Usually, though, it comes with cautionary reminders that the moral arc of the universe doesn't bend by itself -- we humans need to do the bending. And that's true. We all have a responsibility to make the planet a better place with our presence, to heal the broken places in our world. 

But here's the good news. You're already doing this, just by your commitment to be the best parent you can be. 

  • Every time you resist the temptation to have your own tantrum, you teach responsible anger management.
  • Every time you offer emotional generosity, you open the door to more grace for yourself and everyone around you.
  • Every time you love yourself a little more, you heal something in yourself, so you don't pass that pain on to your child. 

We all still need to work against injustice wherever we see it. But children raised with compassion are more likely to spread compassion. And every time you choose love, you're healing something that would otherwise cause more pain in the world. 

That's because when we don't take responsibility for working through our own pain, we can't help but visit it on others. But when you work on yourself, you're making the conscious choice NOT to send that pain on to the next generation.

That's a gift to your child. It's a gift to everyone your child will interact with for his or her entire life. And you're bending the arc of the moral universe toward more compassion and justice -- which Dr. King would want us to do every day, not just on his birthday. 


 

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Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez



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