My oldest started driving.  The insurance company loves us, as they do any family with a teenage driver.

Every time he leaves the house, I have one simple prayer go through my head. “Lord, get him home safely.”

He’s a good driver.  He is. But it’s a big world, and a car is different than a bike. And it strikes me that even when he was on a bike, I said the same prayer.  As a matter of fact, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve said that prayer for all my children for any number of reasons.

That’s what we want, right?  We want out kids to come home safely.

Several years ago I read this article about the then Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen. (Go NAVY!) He had spent his career studying war, but in his new role began studying economics. “I have met parents all over the world, and they all just want to raise their kids to a higher standard than they were raised with,” he says.

In the end that’s what most of us want, right?  Just for our kids to be okay.  Kaepernick’s mom just wants him to be okay, to get home safely.  Police officers’ moms just want their kids to get home safely.  Afghan farmers just want their kids to get home safely.

What we need to do then is to take a page out of Mullen’s book and think about children all over the world.  What can we be doing to make sure that all kids get home safely?

We can build a different world than the one in which we currently live.  But it will take some creative thinking and a good deal of work.

We need to think not only about the kids in our own homes, but the kids in our zip codes that haven’t had anything to eat today. (I don’t care what your zip code is. They’re there.) And then not only about them, but also those kids who live in that neighborhood we avoid. What’s going on that makes us avoid it?  And then not only about them, but also those kids in the town where the mill USED to be. What opportunities do they have? What opportunities could they have?  And then not only about them, but also and also and also.

People just want their kids to get home safely. It can be done, but we need to get outside ourselves to make it happen.


By the way, if you have a few minutes, here is Admiral Mullen being interviewed  by Jon Stewart on the DAILY SHOW. Good Stuff.



4 thoughts on “Behind the Wheel

  1. body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:9pt;background-color: #ffffff;color: black;}

    I’m going to be working on it Patrick.

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