I love my kids and hold them to high standards. I never stop reminding them of their manners, and always expect high grades and responsible behavior. I hold a beautiful vision for their lives and do everything in my power to make sure they stay on the right track and have a good future.
Your kids? Not so much.
It’s not as though I don’t care about them. I hope they do well in school and stay out of trouble. I hope things turn out okay for you and your family. However, if your child comes to my house and doesn’t clear their plate from the table, I won’t make them stop what they are doing and return to the kitchen. I expect excellence from my kids; I’m okay with your kids being mediocre.
I’ve been thinking about these different standards I have for my kids versus yours and how it’s rooted in my love for them and my high expectations for them. I call them out when they make mistakes and I am kind of famous in this house for, “not letting things go.”
I’ve been thinking about this ever since watching Colin Kaepernick, other players, band members and cheerleaders kneel or raise a fist during the national anthem.
I have been wondering if their actions during the national anthem don’t make them the most patriotic people in the stadium. What if they love America more than the rest of us combined? What if they are treating America the way I treat my children and the rest of us are treating America the way I treat your kids?
What if all of us standing are content with mediocre America? What if those people kneeling are not letting our country off the hook so easily when it isn’t living up to its ideals?
Half the kids in our country can’t read their classroom materials. Are all of us who stand with our hands over our hearts saying, “hey, that’s pretty good. Half is well, half. Good job America!” the way I might tell your son, “Hey, a C is passing!”
Are all of us standing for the national anthem okay with the shooting of unarmed children and adults? Do we think, ‘well, the occasional killing isn’t so bad as long as it doesn’t get out of hand?’ Do we think average is good and those who hold their fists in the air aren’t willing to settle for average?
The gap between the ultra-wealthy and middle and lower income families has never been greater—are all those standing before the game who aren’t in the 1% thinking things are just going to work out eventually and believing the Citizens United decision, allowing the ultra-wealthy to sway political campaigns isn’t affecting them too much?
Women are paid seventy-eight cents for every dollar a man makes. When women stand during the national anthem are we saying, “keep trying America—you can do it–one of these days or centuries, men and women really will be equal?
Some people say those kneeling are being disrespectful to the military. Twenty vets who fought for our country kill themselves every day. When we stand are we saying, “I’m sure someone is working on that, plus it’s only twenty?”
Who really loves America the most—those of us standing and accepting mediocrity or those kneeling, holding America to a higher standard?