Amidst xenophobic violence, and renewed demonstrations and activism against oppressive symbols in South Africa. The continued scourge of corruption within pubic services that are meant to protect the well-being of each citizen. The brutal and debilitating gang wars that ravage the Cape Flats. Racial violence in USA. Religious fundamentalism and militancy in Northern Africa and militant Islamic states. Economic challenges globally. Yet, my world comes to a standstill today. Today, none of these matter.
Today, I celebrate the gift and life of my first born. Today, at a baby dedication service at Waterkloof Baptist Church, I give thanks to God for this precious gift. Yet, this is more than dedicating my little one to God, it’s also a dedication of myself and my wife to godly and responsible parenting. A dedication of ourselves to be the most influential and positive role models in her socialisation, her moral and ethical guidance and her general sense of well-being. Whilst you cannot lay the blame for wayward young people or adults at the feet of bad or irresponsible parenting, yet we cannot underestimate the value and importance of parenting in guiding our current and future generation into responsible local and global citizenry. If I fail, she could be part of any of the above evils that ravage our world. Yet, I also know that we have to have the strength for her to live her own life, even if it means a rejection of all that we live for.
I am amazed at how we want to change communities, countries, and the world, yet we are not willing to change our families and parenting. At the end of the day, in order to change a community, you have to change the family because the family is the most basic building block of communities. I realised today, that what I teach and impart to my daughter will eventually have an influence on my community, country and world in measures that I cannot fathom.
Do not underestimate the power and influence of one life. With minimal generational wealth to aid her at this point, being born into a broken and destructive world, having to face an uncertainty regarding her future relationships, career, and things we so often take for granted as adults, she remains precious and important and we as parents remain accountable to her, ourselves, our community, and our God.
Mia-Cara, Isabella, Me