Tag Archives: families

Thanks Mom!

Children learn what they live and like many I gained knowledge by watching my mom. Conservative values were taught not just through lessons but by life experience. For Mom life has been a grand adventure. Living the American Dream, my parents moved to Alaska in its infancy. The skills Mom learned as a child in rural New England helped her to become a Pioneer in the remote state. An independent spirit, while maybe not a requirement to live there, certainly was helpful when living in an area frequented by moose.

Often people don’t realize that in many parts of rural America there are few or no paid emergency staff. So it was where we lived. My parents, like many, joined together with their neighbors to form the Volunteer Fire Department. Watching Mom help others and seeing the dedication of the group left a lasting impression. In later years my parents were part of the all-volunteer Search and Rescue organization.

Some believe that the government is best equipped to help others. But my experience watching my parents leads me to believe that often neighbors know who needs help and what they need.

There were times when my mom worked outside the home and there were times when she was able to be a homemaker. But always these choices were by deciding what was best for the family. Watching Mom I realized that sometimes we don’t get to put ourselves first. I also learned that sometimes people have to make sacrifices for the betterment of the family. As I look at our country and the fiscal woes I am reminded of Mom. In order to get our bills back under control we might have to take that weekend job. Maybe instead of a fancy vacation we might need to take a camping trip.

Some believe that the government operates on an unlimited budget. We remember Margaret Thatcher’s comment on the problem of living off the money of others…at some point they run out of money too. Living within our means may be a conservative trait but perhaps it should be one that both families and government would do better following.

When we kids were grown Mom took on the challenge of returning to school. Being the oldest one in class can be not only scary but intimidating. But she did it entering the work force full time at a point many are thinking of retirement. Watching Mom I learned that with a little faith (and a lot of effort) I could choose my path, sometimes traveling the road less taken and sometimes heading down the freeway.

Some believe that we are limited by our age and want the government to similarly limit the resources (health benefits and otherwise) by their perceived notions. They believe productivity ends at a certain age.

I don’t remember Mom ever talking politics when I was young. I expect she did but young ears have selective hearing. What I did learn though is that it’s not the party we vote for, it’s the person. And when we look at the person we look at his or her past actions. Of course, it’s not just politicians that we look at: it’s businessmen, coworkers, church leaders and even friends. We base our expectations of future activities on things we know about their past.

Some believe the ability to give great speeches is the sign of a great leader. But I learned from Mom that a plain spoken person may bring a lot more to the table. As a teen one of my family’s closest, most admired and smartest friends only finished sixth grade. Flowery speech and promises to change the future without a history of action may mean believers are left holding empty promises.

My parents taught us kids many things. The difference between right and wrong. Don’t wear brown socks with black shoes. How to change a tire. Important things no doubt, but now as an adult, I realize so much more was learned by watching them. The example of things done, not stated, taught me a lot.

So on Mother’s Day I look at my mom. She’s now really retired though not sitting at home. Life is still an adventure. I look at what lessons we’ve learned, through words but especially actions and see how we’ve been influenced. I say we because her granddaughter too has benefited from watching. We’ve learned to take personal responsibility; to embrace life and live to the fullest; to take advantage of the opportunities given to us by America. Thanks Mom for your lessons.

The Importance of Strengthening the Modern Day Black Family

As we celebrate and acknowledge the significance of Black History Month, we remember those who paved the way for success and progress among the black community. We remember the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote racial equality and to eradicate poverty and injustice. We remember the bravery and courage of Rosa Parks that ignited the Civil Rights Movement. We remember the education visionaries such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois.

The task that this generation faces to preserve these legacies and accomplishments is to strengthen the modern day black family. The structure of the family is crucial in meeting social and economical needs.

It is essential and highly imperative that the role of the father be exemplified in black families. Many of the young black men that find themselves shackled to the chains of jails and prisons have lacked a strong father figure in their lives. Fathers provide wisdom, insight, discipline and encouragement. Nobody can serve as a greater role model than a father that is present in their children’s lives. Being a father is much more than being a semen donor. It requires having a consistent and active presence. It’s a father’s unconditional love that not only helps his children as they are growing up, but also allows them to treat other people in society with dignity and respect. A father’s love encourages his children to always dream and pursue their goals, and enthusiastically encourages them to be whatever they set their minds to be.

It’s a father’s discipline and maturity that will teach his children financial structure and how to provide the basic essential needs for their future families.
It is also a father’s spiritual hand of guidance that will instruct his children to depend on Almighty God for strength and refuge in times of adversity and great challenges.
I do want to applaud the strong efforts of the young, single black mother who may have to work multiple jobs to provide for her family. She is strong, relentless and faithful to her family. She possesses the courage to sacrifice her needs to make sure her family has the basic essentials of life. However, this does not excuse the absence of a father figure. A mother’s love and warmth should be complimented by the leadership of the father playing his role as head of his household.

A “perfect” family simply does not exist, whether it’s a black or white household. Every family endures struggles, hardships, emotional turmoil and various differences within the household. However, a strong and cohesive bond between the two-parent catalyst will provide wisdom and enrichment that will last a lifetime.

It is highly encouraging when I see many black students enrolled in college and pursuing good careers. It is indeed a reflection of the American dream to see many black individuals start their own businesses and become successful entrepreneurs. However, my heart does ache for the black families who may live in poverty and do not have access to many financial resources as some do. I believe this is due to a weakened family structure. If the black family structured is broken down, we risk the chance of preserving our history and gains in culture in society. Black history must not be a subject that is examined in history books in February alone, but it is what makes America the strong, diverse and thriving nation that it is. The strengthening of the modern day black family will be a thriving force in America’s greatness.