Kimberly Seals Allers
Photo by Chandra LanierAs a mom I’m always looking for a teachable moment. This week's historic signing of health care reform legislation provided a few of those -- both good and bad. As a work-at-home divorced mom of two, I know personally the pain of finding quality affordable healthcare when you are self-employed. There were many times when I have not had coverage for myself due to the high costs and could only cover my children.
So to see a real issue, that is literally a life and death matter, fall into our propaganda and political machines was extremely frustrating and downright scary. But it taught me something about myself and five key parenting lessons for my children along the way.
1. The ridiculous myths about death panels and the alleged slippery slide into socialism reminded me how important it is for me to teach my children to be independent thinkers willing to get the facts on their own, rather than have that dangerous herd mentality where people foolishly rally behind buzz words that speak to their issues and biases.
2. The fact that not one Republican took a stand for better healthcare told me that partisan politics was more important than saving lives. I hope my children never lose their humanity in their quest to get ahead. I will remember to remind them of that.
3. Although this country is founded on the important tenet of individual responsibility, something I strongly teach my children, I am also equally convinced that there is a place where individual responsibility and community responsibility meet, and when we get to that intersection we must do the right thing. I don’t ever want my children to forget that they are also a part of a community whether at school, work, home, or traveling the world. At the end of the day, if some of us fail then eventually others will fail, so by some very basic laws of logic and humanity, there should be a vested interest in everyone’s well-being.
4. I hope my children will never fully know those two deadly words, pre-existing condition, and how it ruined lives. I hope that they will never only act in their own self-interest.
5. And I hope they will learn to never blindly fear change, but to at least, give it due consideration.