Don’t shelter kids, teach them

The world is a scary place. People do terrible things to each other. Even the great books of the world religions illustrate horrible acts of humankind. The same great books call us to aspire to be more kind, more compassionate and more loving.

Although we can try, we can’t protect our children from the realities of the world they live in. We can educate them. We can inform them. We can give them the tools to navigate safely through that world.

One way to prepare them for the world is to provide ample opportunities through literature, discussion and the development of empathy.

Experiences, whether lived or absorbed vicariously, make an indentation on who we are as people.

Isn’t it our obligation to prepare our children for the world they will inherit? That doesn’t mean just having the skills to work but also the skills to navigate the world, the scary parts and the joyful ones.

Fear is a powerful motivator, and I can see why many parents are concerned about themes in literature. They can be agitating and disconcerting. They can also be impactful, motivating and an encouragement to create a better world. I want our children to be equipped with the skills necessary to be successful adults academically, socially and emotionally.

I believe if we can achieve that, the world will become the place the great religious books call us to aspire to. I am casting my votes for Conejo Valley trustees against fear.

That’s why I’m voting for Jenny Fitzgerald, Bill Gorback and Cindy Goldberg, and I encourage you to do so also.

Justine Fischer
Thousand Oaks

Don’t shelter kids, teach them