Monday, January 18, 2010

A Day to Teach

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
One - U2

Today is a day to teach. To teach my children about the need to have everyone treated equally. A day to teach history's lessons as they pertain to civil rights. The first thing we did was have the children watch a short movie about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Later we will discuss Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Part of that speech is:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

My family is made up of a cornucopia of races. I have a daughter who is part Hispanic, one who is full Black (African American), and one who is mainly Polynesian, part Asian, part Black, and part Hispanic. Both boys are full Caucasian so we seem to have hit most races. My children are growing up knowing that the color of skin makes no difference about a person. They are learning to love all people because they love each other.

We are taking this day to help them understand the struggles of different peoples to be treated fairly and equally. Our hope is that this teaching instills in them a love of all men, regardless of the color of their skin.

As for myself, I cannot hear or read the words of Dr. King's speech without emotion welling up inside of me. I cannot imagine the kind of courage it took for him to do the things he did. It is because of that courage that our country was changed. That courage I can use to inspire me to instill in my children a love for everyone. Also to teach them that everyone must be treated equally.

In the words of Brad Paisley's song:

I had a friend in school,
Running-back on a football team,
They burned a cross in his front yard
For asking out the home-coming queen.

I thought about him today,
Everybody who's seen what he's seen,
From a woman on a bus
To a man with a dream.

Wake up Martin Luther.
Welcome to the future.
Glory glory hallelujah.
Welcome to the future.
Welcome to the Future

My dream is that my children will be part of the fulfilling of Dr. King's dream. As the Declaration of Independence says "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal". May all men be created and treated equal is what this day is all about.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Breaking the Habit

So today is day one of the "No More Cola" plan. You see I made the New Year's resolution to quit caffeinated soda. There are several reasons behind the decision. Of course it's not easy to do. I didn't go "Cold Turkey" on Jan 1. Instead of my regular 4 or 6 cans I drank only 2 and kept myself to that number through yesterday. Last night Cheryl and I were talking before bed and both of us decided it was time to get off the wagon.

My biggest problem is craving the flavor of Cola. It seems to be the thing that gets me coming back. So today I made a pitcher of Crystal Light and have not had one Cola. I also took one Excedrin Migraine pill. It's a preventative measure against the headache that would have come if I had just not drank a Cola all day.

So far so good. No headache, cravings replaced by Crystal Light. I'm sure this can be done and it will probably help me as I also start up my exercise routine in earnest again. It will also get me back to the fluids I grew up on: water and milk. That has to be healthy right?

It's going to take a couple more weeks to be completely free (hopefully less but I'm being realistic here). So Crystal Light, water and milk will become some of my new best friends. It's going to happen and I'm going to be better off because of it.