Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Day I Taught My Kid to Be Unpatriotic

Act #261:  Let them know peace.

Last night, my son wanted to pray, and these were his words.  "Dear God, please help the American army beat the French." And so, just when I thought I was going to get to go to sleep, my 6-year old and I had one of the most interesting conversations we've ever had.   Come to find out, he apparently learned these concepts in a kindergarten history class?  Who knew that 5-year olds discussed the Revolutionary War?  Scary.  He went on to say that he hoped "America would always win all the wars." 

And thus we began talking about how France was actually an ally.  And we talked about the consequences of war and the value of human life.  And I asked him if he thought there might be a better way to work out differences.  And we talked about alternatives to fighting.  And then I asked him why he wanted America to win all the wars.   And he told me because he was an American.  And I asked him if he thought he was always right about everything.  And he said no.  And I asked him if he thought that children living in France, and Japan, and Ghana deserved to be safe and happy just like him.  And he said yes.  And so before he closed his eyes, we revised our prayer, "Dear God, please help the world have no more wars."  And before I closed my eyes last night I prayed, "Dear God, please help me raise a boy who - despite what he hears at school, at the playground, on television - comes to truly believe that love always wins."

1 comment:

  1. Or perhaps love of country need not express itself as militarism?