Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Humbled By A Child's Insight

It was just a normal night in the Borders house. That is, until my little miss started talking abnormally loud (It’s a constant battle to have her use her indoor voice:). I’m not exactly sure what she was shouting out, but I immediately said “Who is talking so loudly in my house!?!” “Me!” she retorted while giggling. Then, that’s when my son chimed in…”It is a free country mom!”.

So…let’s not forget that I am a spirited Haitian-American woman. I was immediately annoyed at his seemingly disrespectful comment. Yet, for some reason I didn’t instantly ground him. Instead, I said (sarcastically)…If you can define to me what a free country is….both of you can talk as loud as you want all night! To my utter surprise, Justin came into the kitchen and delineated the difference between a want and a basic right that everyone should have. “The right to go to school and read,” was one that he stressed was important to him. “Like Frederick Douglass…he really wanted to read, but they told him he couldn’t. That was wrong!” he exclaimed. Um…sooooo needless to say…I am contemplating making a trip to the store for earplugs because there’s a lot of outdoor voices going on right now!

In the spirit of Black history month, I would like to follow my son’s lead in highlighting Frederick Douglass’ life. He went from being an illiterate slave, to becoming an autobiographical writer, trusted advisor to Abraham Lincoln, United States Marshal for the District of Columbia, Recorder of Deeds for Washington, D.C., and Minister-General to the Republic of HAITI (YAY!!!!!!!!). His story is so inspirational to me because it reinforces the importance of dreaming and striving for more than your current circumstance, and demonstrates that it neither defines nor limits who you are.

In fact, he sought to embody three keys for success in life:

• Believe in yourself.
• Take advantage of every opportunity.
• Use the power of spoken and written language to effect positive change for yourself and society.

This is just as true now as it was in the mid 1800s!

Happy Parenting,

To learn more about Frederick Douglass, please visit:

Frederick Douglass

1 comment:

  1. From the mouth and minds of babes:^) The innocence of children always has a way of illuminating the important things. Thanks for sharing:^) Nubian Knight@Facebook