In 6 hours today we went from taxi to plane to subway train to car. For 'small town folks' we seem to have gotten a great deal of use out of public transportation. In the process of all of our travels this week I realized something...I love the people watching and the true experience in diversity it offers.
I am probably a cab driver's nightmare because I like to ask them questions about themselves. They always seem to have a back story. Many of the drivers in DC seem to be immigrants, so the conversations were frequently very educational. Having just studied Ethiopia in January, K was thrilled that she got to meet two REAL Ethiopian men. After all of her class' emphasis on the poverty of Ethiopia, she seemed surprised to see them in a different light.
I adore living in a small town, but I do think it lends itself to experiencing a pretty homogeneous community. One of the great life lessons of travel is the exposure to people from all different walks of life--and what better snapshot of that is there than public transportation?
I am about halfway through John Rosemond's Parenting by the Book right now. Overall, I find it affirming and positively challenging--but there have been a few parts that have made me wince in conviction. I have highlighted a couple of sections for further prayer and conversation with my husband. Chapter Seven made some very strong points in regards to Proverbs 22:6 and Proverbs 29:18---the 'way' we should be training up our children to go and the vision necessary to get us there.
"Parents should aim their child rearing at a target that lies some distance in the future. One's aim in this regard should be unwavering. Every parent should be aiming at the same target: an adult of right character, morals and ethics who loves God. This adult is a responsible and compassionate citizen, a devoted spouse and a parent who 'passes it on.' Maintaining that aim requires that a parent hold in the forefront of his 'parent mind' a clear vision of the type of person he wants his child to be when his child is thirty years old--a vision to which he regularly refers."
One of the traits in my vision for my children at 30 is an ability to really love others with a love beyond themselves: all people. I pray they will grow up interested in cultivating friendships across socioeconomic and ethnic lines. I don't want them to make assumptions and lump people in boxes based on preconceived notions. In a smaller town where many people, unfortunately, fall into stereotypes this is going to take some intentional work.*
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6
"Where there is no vision the people get out of hand." Proverbs 29:18 NJB
*By the way, I really love our town and the people here. No offense or judgement intended...just an observation that it can be really easy to surround yourself with people who look, think and act just like you. I know I am guilty!