I've been having soul-searching conversations with my five-year-old, Mikko, lately. He'll talk about anything (and, boy, does he love to talk), but he's become interested lately in even bigger issues than whether he can have chocolate milk or why stop signs are red.
He's been noticing people who need help, such as the people selling Real Change (the homeless newspaper) outside our grocery store. I always give him a dollar to buy it, and he loves the privilege of running up and making the exchange. Due to some recent budget constraints in our family, we've gotten to talk a bit more with him about privilege, and how we're still blessed to have a roof to live under and food to eat, even if it's not always the kind and amount we want. He's been learning — through hearing and not experiencing, thankfully — that not all children have parents, that some people are sick and everybody dies, that some relationships and marriages break up, that bad people can hurt others, that natural and human-made disasters can strike.
In short, he's become aware, at this young age, about suffering. And he wants to know what he can do about it.
As I said, I'm happy that his forays out of extreme innocence have been through story rather than through living it. And while I don't want to overdramatize any concerns these new pieces of information have brought him, I also don't want to discourage his childlike inclination to help.
I was so pleased to see the trailer for this new Fox Pictures movie, Won't Back Down. Coming just after I'd watched a documentary about the U.S. public school system and how the children in our poorest neighborhoods are being, quite literally, failed, I was primed to feel energized and fighting-ready at the thought of organizing to take action.
Here's the trailer so you can see for yourself:
Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal play two determined mothers who will stop at nothing to transform their children's failing inner city school. Despite opposition from an entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
I'm passionate about my children's education, which is why we've chosen a homeschooling path. I'm also realistic that most people will not or cannot make that same choice, and I desperately want our public schools to be a safe, quality place for our nation's kids — no matter their income level — to get a solid education and be treated with respect.
I hope that Mikko continues to ask his questions — and to seek how he can engage in relieving some of the suffering he sees. I know he has a compassionate nature, and I'm sure we'll have many opportunities as he grows to stand beside him and help him fight for what he believes in.
This movie could be the catalyst for getting our family involved in helping our own local schools. I'd love to consider with my other local friends about where the needs are and how our whole families might pitch in.
SEE IT!I'm really looking forward to seeing this film when it comes out Friday, September 28. The movie's cast is impressive. Davis and Gyllenhaal, along with costar Rosie Perez, are all Oscar Nominees, and costar Holly Hunter is an Oscar winner.
Get a group together, and you can buy group tickets through the Facebook page! Take your PTA, church, or homeschooling group and go be inspired together.
Be sure to like the Facebook page for more updates on the film, and share the link with friends. Let's be the change we want to see in the world!
WIN IT!For a chance to win one of two $40 Fandango gift cards to help fund your movie night, answer the prompt question in the comments.
Answer one of these prompts for entry: How can you be an agent of change in your community? What gives you courage?
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the
following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post (click here for a pre-crafted Tweet)
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/5-9/30.
Be sure to visit the Won't Back Down brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts and find more chances to win!