So I had retired this blog. But yesterday on Facebook I read the letter posted above by a news station in Fargo. It reads:
Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays, Neighbor!
You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child?" I am disappointed in "the village" of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo.
Your child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.
My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.
Reading this, my heart broken into a million little pieces of disgust and rage. Sure, childhood obesity is a problem in America. So is bullying. So is, perhaps, a general forgetfulness that yes, it DOES take a village. But a village of what? Cruelty and judgement? Name calling? Non-constructive criticism? I don't know about you, but I want my children to grow up in a village full of love. Wisdom. Nurturing. Kindness. Peace. Understanding. Respect. Education. Sharing. Progressive forward motion. There are lots of options for addressing social problems in a constructive manner. Sending snarky letters home with Trick or Treaters just isn't one of them.
At first I decided I would combat this woman's bitter assault on children and their parents by sending home a Halloween letter of my own. But, meh. A waste of paper, kinda weird?, and probably not the big hitter that is really needed to demonstrate that KINDNESS can outweigh cruelty ANY TIME WE CHOOSE. Because collectively, it is that simple.
The number three seems to be my number today. Today is my birthday. I'm 33 years old. I have three children. And today I'm donating three dollars.
I don't have a lot of extra money right now. I'd love to donate much more. But perhaps if we all band together, if we all donate three dollars, we can make a difference. One dollar will go to a charity fighting bullying. One will go to a charity fighting hunger. Another will go to a charity fighting the effects of childhood obesity. Because that bitter, unkind, judgmental letter? Almost - almost - almost has a point. But it gets SO very inextricably lost in the cruel uselessness of the delivery. The author of this letter doesn't care about children. She doesn't care about the village. She is a bully. She is using concern for children as a thinly veiled excuse to be viciously mean to those around her. But if we have concerns about our society, if we want to make an impact, if we are concerned about the myriad issues plaguing our society and the lack of a "village"...let's put our money where our mouths are. Let's be a village of goodness.
Join me. Share this post. Donate three dollars.
Kindness can outweigh cruelty ANY TIME WE CHOOSE.
(Click the links below to donate. Any amount of your choosing).
Donate to help end bullying: "I Choose" Campaign
Donate to help end hunger: Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry
Donate to help improve problems associated with childhood obesity: American Diabetes Association