My Turn: Children are watching, so give yourself to a cause that moves you

For the Monitor
Published: 8/31/2017 12:15:11 AM

I remember being told once that on the day a child comes into the world, a mother is also born. As most parents do, I strive every day to be the best mother I can be.

Having daughters has heightened my sense of responsibility as a woman and as a mother. I know that I am the yardstick they will use to measure their place in the world and the model they will follow as they become adults.

That leads me to ask myself quite often, “Am I the kind of woman I want my children to grow up to be?” I use that as my gut check on a daily basis, and it is the reason I felt compelled to join Moms Clean Air Force on the State House lawn in Concord for the New Hampshire Play-In for Climate Action last Saturday.

Moms Clean Air Force is a community of over 1 million moms and dads united against air pollution – including the urgent crisis of our changing climate – to protect our children’s health.

At the New Hampshire Play-In for Climate Action, we listened to music, played with other children, and heard from speakers calling for action on climate change on the local and national level. This family-friendly rally was designed to deliver a public message from New Hampshire families: It’s time to get serious about climate change.

Not only did I attend, but I also spoke at the event – not as an expert on global climate change or public health – but as the mother of two young children. Sometimes, being a good mom means being an active citizen. As responsible parents, it is important that we model our values to our children. It is easier to tell our kids to be of service than it is to model that behavior, but when we step out of our comfort zones for a cause that serves the greater good, we give them a map to being agents of change.

We need to do more than just the easy bits – like show up for marches and rallies on beautiful days. We need to take that extra step. We need to make phone calls and write emails and letters to our elected officials. We need to share and encourage others to share their stories. We need to ask our elected officials to take bold action on the causes we care about, like addressing the climate crisis, for the health, well-being and future of our children. Our persistence and determination are the force it will take to secure a safe and healthy planet for our babies.

Give of yourself to the causes that move you. Our children are watching us. When they see us take action, they see it as a valuable part of the experience of life – of being part of a strong and loving community.

This planet is so beautiful and so fragile. Let’s show our kids how to fight for it. Let’s use our collective voice as mothers to get organized and get active. Together, we will be louder and stronger than ever before.

(Sarah Robinson of Concord is director of The River Guild.)




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