My Dad used to say when he would get upset with someone, “Get a life.” If we were complaining about something he thought was ridiculous, he’d say, “Get a life.” My sisters and I were fighting over something ridiculous, “Get a life.”
I think it is was his version of “Get over it.”
My sisters and I have made fun of my dad often in adulthood for this phrase. Now if my dad is pontificating about some ill he thinks is important, but we find ridiculous we’ll say, “Hey Dad . . . Get a life!” We find it humorous I don’t know if he always does.
In the midst of this time of COVID-19 as I have been isolated with my three sons, I have found my patience strained . . .
How strained? At the end of one day of non-stop back and forth bickering, I yelled out, “Would y’all just ‘get a life!'”
Suddenly I was uttering a phrase that I hated my whole life growing-up.
I have a lot of my Dad in me.
My kids will have a lot of me in them.
Which is why I have made the following commitment:
- They will never hear me make another racial joke.
- They will never hear me define a problem because of the color of another person’s skin.
- They will hear me speak out against bias implicit and explicit.
- They will hear me repent of my implicit bias.
- They will see me make friends with individuals of different colors.
- They will be encouraged to love and even marry any girl no matter her color.
- They will be reminded that Jesus likely looked less like them and more like others with darker complexion. And so if they love their darker Jesus they better love their darker neighbor.
- They will see me speak up against injustice.
I believe in protest.
I believe in conversation and debate.
I believe in the vote.
But I don’t have a lot of hope in these changing anything–
Which is why I focus most on changing the next generation, and that change starts in my home.