I have had a lifetime of experiences that have taught me there is only one race of humans, and that we all want the same three things. We want to raise our children in peace and safety, to be able to provide them with an education that will allow them to be successful within their own culture, to be able to share with them the faith deep within us.
I have a dream today. These words of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King resonate in the hearts of many Americans. I'm writing this on the day we honor Dr. King, a man upon whom the weight of speaking truth fell like an anvil. He carried that weight graciously and gracefully. He spoke the truth without rancor. He spoke the truth without hyperbole. He spoke truth without guile. It is a heavy burden it is to be the bearer of truth. Think about it.
The iconic "I Have A Dream" speech has led me to ponder the dream that we all have as humans, especially as parents. There is one thing that we all want. A deep yearning that is common to every single person on the planet no matter their culture, nation, or faith.
That one thing is the opportunity to live and raise our children in homes filled with peace and safety, respect and connection. This instinctive drive within us all is the central theme of this blog and of my soon to be released book, "Harbor Home: Create A Home In Which You And Your Children Thrive" published by Morgan-James Faith.
My message is, and always has been, that you and your family can have a Harbor Home. I believe this to be the truth. I believe that this act honors Dr. King and all the other great defenders of truth. Having the family life that we all long for is within your ability. To begin you only need to decide what you are willing to do differently, what new habits you are willing to take on and what harmful habits you are willing to set aside.
Raising your children in an atmosphere of mutual respect, regard for human dignity, strong ties to your culture and curiosity about other cultures is an ancient recipe for peace. Not just peace in your home, but peace throughout the world.
Every community, large and small, is made of families. It is the strength of these units that dictates the strength of the whole. So if you want to have peace and strength throughout the world it begins in your home, in your personal space, and in your heart. St Mother Teresa of Calcutta was famous for saying, "If you want peace in the world go home and love your family." This is truth.
But you are tired. You are frustrated. You want one hour of privacy and quiet. Parenting is not what you thought it would be. You don't know how to get from where you are to the harbor you know to be your home. Where to start is the big question. Today, my tips go back to the basics of creating a Harbor Home. If your dream for your children is to have a Harbor Home, begin here.
Begin with your personal space. Invite your people to come near. Rather than putting up barriers between you and your children, initiate a cuddle time. Announce that it is joke time and that the only way to get out of couch cuddle time is to tell the best joke. Cuddle, tickle, giggle, laugh, praise the jokes. Have fun. Change the atmosphere. Get up close and personal with your people. This is the start.
Deepen your faith. Whatever faith practices you connect to through tradition or thought, deepen those connections. If you are a Christian, worship in a community, read scripture, pray. If you are Jewish, find a congregation with a Rabbi that is a true teacher. Unite yourself to your rich and ancient faith with prayer and study. If you are a humanist, embrace it. Research well why you believe that humans are the source of reason and knowledge. Teach your children as you learn more about your faith and explain the faith of others. Give them options by giving them information.
Monitor who influences your life. Many experts in the field of human behavior declare that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. There has been enough clinical research surrounding this assertation that I believe it. Therefore I am very careful, and I encourage you to be, about who comes into my life. Toxic and negative people who cause harm and bring in situations that breed discontent are simply left outside the harbor. Even if they are family. You don't have to have a dramatic confrontation, just quietly untangle the ties that bind.
Identify those who are cheering you on. My daughter and I were talking about her brother and her husband the other day. We were talking about how important their mentors are to them and how actively they each seek out advice and support from people who have done what they want to do. My daughter said, "I've noticed that smart dudes always want to learn more." Yes. Yes they do. Smart dudes (and dudettes) want to learn more. Find those who know how to create a Harbor Home and lean in.
Harbor Home: Create A Home Where You And Your Children Can Thrive" will be available in ebook format on February 1, 2022. It will be available in print wherever books are sold on May 24, 2022. You can preorder now from all your favorite online book sellers. This encouraging book is filled with tips, life hacks, and encouragement for creating a Harbor Home of your own. Honor Dr. King and the other noble people of history and make your family all that you know you want it to be.