And so the dream continues.....
For a free America...Liberty and justice for All...
A few days back I had an opportunity to meet with one of the candidates running for LA county Judge. While chatting on many various issues, the main topic of the night drifted towards our youth. It was overwhelming, sorrowful and even scary to learn the demographics as to how our society functions...what with gangsters, drug mafia, graffiti, boys on the streets and then Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, firefighters, mega lotto’s and above all the Law itself.. Where does our youth stand in all this??? Are we living in two parallel worlds???
Raising two children of my own, I question my decisions every day. I read about Travyon Martin and Shaima Alawadi and my heart went out to both the families. How does it all starts? Was among the many questions which popped up. Are we engaging our children in meaningful activities? How does one gets tangled so haphazardly that it’s rigid to find your way back?
From a Parent point of view we do what we can best. Provide them with great home environment all complete with the "i" gadgets... enroll them in the best private schools available in town and take them to visit mickey mouse during spring break.
As an educator's point of view this is not enough...My job is not only teaching "academics" or making sure the child is able to read the next level book or do addition and subtraction problems.
It goes beyond that.
One of my 5 year old was reading a biography about Rosa Louise McCauley Parks. She gave me a puzzled look. The look had, if not a hundred at least ten queries clearly posted on her innocent face. More like those questions were prodding my mind and she wanted me to assure her that such a time never existed or does not anymore. I lowered my gaze and tried explaining it to her that " World is a beautiful place" but caught myself amidst realizing that I am guarding her from the truth...the truth she needs to have some knowledge of. I started by explaining how the times were different when Rosa Parks was alive, how skin color, language and religion played a very vital and substantial role in one’s identity. How the times have changed and everybody is “Equal.” She commented, “Rosa had the same skin color as some of my friends in the classroom.” I smiled at her and said, “Sure she did.”
For a 5 year old understanding the complexity of the skin color and making analogies between Rosa Parks and her friends was very simple. What about us adults? We still haven’t figured out that how and where we are born is not our decision but how and what we do is really a choice definitely made by us.
When Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous speech, “I have a dream…” little that he knew, over time his speech will only make him an icon on modern American liberalism and a federal holiday. Even now after four decades we are still wondering whether we will witness such a dream in total reality not just in superior echelons.
And so the “Dream continues…….
BY: Ifra N. Khoso