This post originally started as a request from Parenting magazine. Mom Congress delegates were asked to write a letter to their children making a pledge to them. At first I wasn’t sure what I would write. I want my children to do well in education that has never been a question. I will take up the torch when need be to make sure that their education is the best it can be. But, when I sat and thought about what I really want for my children, I thought, what I really want is for them to be the kind of people who will leave their mark in some way and make our world just a little bit better. When all the adults in our children’s lives ban together to help mold them, they can truly become incredible people. That is why we must not only have educationally sound schools, but emotionally safe schools as well.
Here is my pledge to my children:
I pledge to be an advocate for you. I will work with the teachers and administrators to make sure that the school is the best it can be, not just for you, but for all children. I cannot promise that things will change, but I will work hard with those who have the power to make positive changes. Furthermore, I want to make sure that you are treated as a whole person and not as a test score or a number. Those who work with you should also work to make sure that you are the best person you can be.
In addition, I will help you make plans to be successful as well as to execute those plans to realize the success. I do not just want you to have a fine mind, but a compassionate heart. Success is not measured in dollar signs and test scores, but by the path you choose and the legacy you leave to those who follow you.
In addition to pledging myself to you, there are a few truths that I hope you take to heart. Always work your hardest. Your potential to do great things in your life, community, and world lies in your ability to see things through and complete what you have started. If you listen to your heart, your mind will create a plan and your body will follow through.
I also want you to remember that the only thing that you are entitled to is respect. By realizing this, it will enable you to work your hardest for the things you really want in life. I also expect it to be the one thing that you give to all those with whom you come into contact.
Finally, don’t ever let anyone else define you. You are special and unique gift to this world and were put here for a specific purpose. When those voices that tear you down begin to play in your head, make sure that you push them out and listen to those who know you best. You must define who you are and what you will accomplish. When people tell you that you can’t do something, they are saying that from the bounds of their own limitations. You must define who you are and how far you will go.
I am fully dedicated to helping the gem that you are become a polished jewel.