Education featured Racism

Raymond Sheppard: Our children are the future

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Like others, African peoples around the globe strive to make a better day for their children and grandchildren. We must do all that we can to provide our children with the possibility of a better future. It is not enough to give lip service. I would think most of us want our children to be happy,  healthy and to be loved.

Nonetheless, countless children are hurting, and we must stand to make a change so our children and our children’s children will have a better tomorrow. It is the least we can do in this life.

Some believe supporting our children is all a matter of providing them with access to a good education. But although education is a part of paving the way, knowing thyself and our own history and contributions is paramount. After all, for our children to know and have confidence in who they are is imperative.

We want our children to be happy, to love and be loved, so maybe this needs to be the starting block, to teach our children to love themselves.

Oh, of course there are many parents trying to leave their children money or to set them up with money. Of course we do try, but most times being poverty stricken by all the systems that work against us this is not always possible..

When our children are young, most of us try as best we can to take care of all their needs as best as we can, whether these needs be medical, social, educational, and financial. We teach time sensitive and vital survival skills and we also pass along our hopes, dreams and fears. We consciously try to give them what we did not have, and hopefully give them what we did have, like a sense of family and community

Where we do not know the future, we worry about all the risks we see.  Based on our reality, we instill a strong sense of survival skills.

Again, I must say most African people try to shelter our children from some nasty realities, like that of racism, sexism, intolerance and injustice.

Our children, like most children, ask many questions and we try our best to provide answers they can learn from. I personally find stories to be a good teacher. As a father and now grandfather, bedtime stories were always a great time to make up stories to get a point across and to teach a lesson. 

Some parents I have come across over the years try hard to control their children without promoting freedom of thought. For me, I only ever drew a line when it came to  matters of health and safety.

I strongly believe that in order to give our child what we can, and to increase the chances for a good future, first and foremost we must trust them.

Indeed our children are the future, and the future is now.

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