Monday, October 24, 2011

teaching respectfully

it's been a while since I've posted. Not much has happened. No new home, no new position, no new sewing, no new news. Sometimes that's nice. I really wanted to be in my own space before Christmas but I don't think that will happen. My new goal is by my birthday. Think I can do it by April? It depends on if something comes into the market I guess.

I don't know if I ever mentioned one of my challenges with A was always that he didn't like anyone that was different from him. Be it skin color, political thinking, religious beliefs, economic class, ethnicity, you get the picture. If you didn't think like him, you were wrong. And believe me, there were many things I did not agree with him on.

I have always wanted to expose my children to diversity, of all kinds. Well before I lived with A and knew people really thought that way. Part of why I moved back to the Seattle area was because I grew up essentially colorblind. Not ignorant, but not aware either. I saw people, not labels. Some of that has to do with my parents, but some also has to do with exposure.

I have decided to teach the girls of other religions and beliefs. I am not quite sure how I want to do it, but I know it's important to me to show the girls how to learn about others. I want to make sure to foster kindness, compassion, and respectful curiosity towards others in the girls. I was planning on starting with Judaism. Mostly because being Catholic, we have a shared history. Jesus was a Jew.

I was going to start with Hanukkah but I think I might wait until next year and start with Rosh Hashanah — The Jewish New Year. Take some time to learn more so I can share with the girls better. I was telling my parents about this and my dad asked if I was serious about this and I said "yes, I am" and he has some co-workers that he's going to ask for information for me. I have asked him to make it clear I am not looking for information for conversion, but for compassion and understanding. I am very happy to be a Catholic, in my heart I know it's the right religion for me, even if I don't always agree with the rules, the Pope, or the decrees.

I don't really know why I am sharing this, but maybe someone has some advice, resources, other cultures (I want to learn and share other cultures as well as religions) I should invest time into learning about. I asked one of my friends from Chile to share with the girls and she's thinking about what she'd like to share.


Beth said...

I have so much respect for the way you are raising the girls. You are an amazing mother and I mean that most sincerely.
I was raised a Catholic, school uniforms and all. My husband is Jewish. I would be more than happy to share with you some traditions and teachings.
While there are so many differences in the two religions, the similarities are far more numerous.
Hugs to R and H. And you too of course.

a good yarn said...

Good for you! There's never enough tolerance and understanding in this world. ann :-)

Jen said...

Good for you -- it's things like this that make a great mother. I too grew up colour blind and I'm not even sure why -- I think my parents have always treated everyone as equal and have never remarked on anyone's colour (or religion or sexual orientation or abilities or...) so it was something that I never considered to be a substantial difference.

You might want to check out your city's cultural centres if they exist (for example, a Jewish organization might run a centre.) They would probably be more than happy to teach your girls about their culture. I think that the biggest thing is just including people who are "different" in your circle of friends.

seventhsister26 said...

I think what you are doing is great. As for resorces with religion, not sure where to start. Books can be pretty unbiased as far as defining and describing religion. I took a World Religions class or two in college and the texts we used were pretty unbiased as far as information goes. I wish I had kept those reading lists;)
Another way you could expose the girls to other cultures is through community events. Most of them are free or at a low cost. I think theatre is a great learning tool. Then you have local open air markets that gather a very large variety of people. Have you thought about getting them into Brownies or are they still too young for that? I know I loved girl scouting, and they do teach alot of things that make for a well rounded person if you get in with the right troop. of luck with the house hunting;)
Happy Living!!