Raising children not just to speak, but to speak truth

When my first daughter was born, I remember thinking I’d teach her how to speak up. I quickly realized that she didn’t need my lessons. As soon as she learned to talk, she did just fine. I just had to relate and be her mom of her. I nurtured, set boundaries and made sure she learned how to play and have friends. I figured the rest would come and, sure enough, it did.

This past fall upon receiving the assignment to choose a fiction book to read, she began arguing with her language arts teacher. How does anyone know, for certain, what’s true or not, what’s fiction, nonfiction or just plain propaganda? I was mortified as she described the scene to me. I was thinking about reputation. She was a freshman, not even a month in. It was still September.

“Fair. Do. The. Assignment,” I told her.

This past Tuesday the world celebrated International Women’s Day. Women don’t typically hold positions of public power. It’s more often we become mothers, give life and raise it up. Childbirth is painful and to unknown degrees, a self-sacrificing event. A woman can get caught up in the service of it all. I’ve certainly had my moments.

But there are two components to Catholic social teaching: charity and justice. A person can give, but we are also called to pursue needed change, to act.

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