This year in honor of Martin Luther King Jr, I was thinking about all of the words that we whispered into Asher’s ear on the day that he was born…the world is here for the taking, little man, you can be anything. Even in the most dire of circumstances, I believe that every child hears some version of this on the day that he or she enters the world. If not from a mother or father, perhaps from a nurse, a family member, a social worker, but I think that nothing inspires hope like the face of a child taking a first breath. If even only for a moment, I do believe that we all start here.
We forget that as we age. We forget that we were all that baby once, that little vessel of possibility. We start to see color, money, differences, dogma, fear, selfishness, pride, partisanship and power. We forget that there was a moment for each of us when it was possible to become anything, love anyone, learn everything, become triumphant, all simply because we were born. Yesterday I was thinking about all of the children that Asher has brought into our lives and the way that their curiosity erases stigma, the way that their openness invites smiles, and the way that their intensity brings parents and people together because children are so thirsty for the experience of this world, not the divisions within it. We see examples every day of people taking one step and then another in a steady march toward this narrow brand of forgetfulness, but yesterday there were words all over the United States that were about hope and love and equality. Words that helped me to remember that every person is created equal. That every single person, every person, all of us, are created equal. Yesterday reminded me that I can be doing more to be working toward acceptance in my actions and with my words, that I too am forgetting our universal starting point and sometimes seek out what separates from us one another before looking for what is common between us. It reminded me that there is still work to do and that equality is not something that is to be earned, it is a birthright.
And on a lighter note, Asher is deeply absorbed in Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. Heartwarming to look in the backseat and see that on a chilly Tuesday morning.
And because why not…here’s my post from 2010 on the subject. Little has changed.