Look Around at How Lucky We Are to Be Alive Right Now

I mean, really, the top-grossing, most engaging piece of art created this year is a Broadway show about immigrants who become American Founding Fathers played by an almost entirely non-white cast. If you would have told me a Broadway show would capture the mainstream culture before hearing about Hamilton, I never would have believed you. And the title of this blog comes from a song. Give it a listen here.

Being honest with you, the political discussions taking place right now seem so backwards it’s discomforting. The Republicans, usually the party of patriotism, American exceptionalism, and ra-ra-‘Merica has become the party of doom, gloom, and the Apocalypse. Meanwhile, that patriotism and optimism about the future has migrated to the Democratic party, usually known for their criticism of the American way of life.

Setting politics aside for a moment, look around. We are living in a time of prosperity. For the most part, our biggest concerns in America are whether or not the AC is working in this heat wave or why the DVR isn’t programming properly. Our biggest choices are what to watch on Netflix or on what cuisine dinner will be based. Let’s face it, our biggest challenges right now are small compared to what some families face in disputed territories or war-ravaged regions.

Do I think life in America is perfect? No, I don’t. We have problems, yes, just like any family who’s going through some changes. America is like a huge adopted family – with all of the blessings and struggles that come along with that. We have conflicts and concerns, but we should be able to work those things out, right? There’s no need to consider now to be the end times… right?

Consider this, kids worry… a lot. Kids are concerned about divorce, about shootings, about why some of their relatives don’t like black people or Muslims. Kids watch the news and lie awake at night wondering if the terrible wars and bombings will show up on their own doorstep. What are you doing to allay those fears? How do your words reflect that your child is as safe as possible?

Despite what the 24-hour news cycle would have us believe, we are safer now than in any period of history. We have fewer wars, fewer murders, and crime, except in a few spots, is down nationally. But, saying, “You know what, guys? We’re doing all right. See you later,” doesn’t get people to watch the news.

So, isn’t this enough? Can we be content with what we have while striving for a better tomorrow? How does the old saying go, “We’re borrowing this world today from our children?”

When your child seems worried, take the time to talk through the issues. Use your experience, what you know of God, and critical optimism to give hope for the future.

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