Growing up in Birmingham means that I have been lucky enough to have always been surrounded by a range of different people. I went to school in the very multi-cultural area of the city and my youth was spent with friends in gay clubs. People being 'different' to me has never been an issue. I am an RE teacher and spend my days encouraging the teens of today that we are all equal. I explain differences in order to create acceptance. But the world we are living in at the moment is not the world I grew up in.
It's not the world I want my children to grow up in and I don't know what to do about it. I found myself starting to irrationally worry that something terrible would happen to us if we were on a plane. Every time I visit London I feel sick to my stomach that something or someone may 'get me'. And speaking to friends I know I'm not the only one to feel like this. We are living in fear. We seem to be living in a world of hate. Where social media is able to spread it quicker than wildfire. Over the past few weeks I have read comments by other humans that spit out such hatred, it makes me sick to my stomach.
So I've decided that I am going to do something. And that something? Is for every time I see an act of violence on the news. For every time I hear a story about guns or hear of yet another act of terroism. I'm going to choose to make my mission to be the best parent I can be stronger. It's going to encourage me to talk to my children more about different faiths, different types of people. It's going to make me go into my school and explain topics in more depth and encourage my pupils to talk about their views openly regardless of sex or colour. Which in turn should help those that pass through my door get a better grip on the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is that we are all born innocent. What goes on around us moulds us. Changes us. And I for one want to make sure that my two beautiful children are moulded with love and that together they can change the world. That is the way that I plan to handle the fear.