February 19, 2015

Atheist Mama: On Swearing, Part 2,
or the things that I care about more than swearing

Man, I'm obsessing over this, aren't I?

Maybe obsessing is the wrong term for it. I'm not sure what the right one is, though, so it will have to do.

I wasn't sure what to write about this week, but a conversation that I was having with a friend about last week's post on swearing really stuck with me. During the course of that conversation, I started thinking about all of the concepts that I care more about instilling or preventing in my children than swearing.

Parenting priorities really differ, but I think at a very basic level there's quite a bit we can agree on--secular or religious, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jain, Hindu, Sikh, Ba'hai, whathaveyou. We all want to turn out good people.

Here's the list of things that I care about more than swearing when it comes to raising my children.

I bet you'll find that you really agree.



  • Don't just be good. Do good.
  • Care about people. Really care about people.
  • Care about avoiding what causes pain, and healing pain when you do cause it.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Think before you do anything.
  • Respect the right of others to exist.
  • Be unafraid to stand up for yourself or those that have no one to stand up for them.
  • Know your privilege. Use it to make the world better.
  • Work hard, but know when to let go.
  • Remember what's important: family and friends and love and beauty, reading and writing and thinking and creating.
  • Take time to slow down and really see what is around you.
  • Stop before you judge. Put on that person's eyes and imagine what the world look like for them.
  • Take the time to listen to other voices. Don't talk over them. He who talks the loudest isn't necessarily right.
  • Respect the world around you. Don't take it for granted. It may be limited, it may be finite, but it is worth protecting and treasuring.
  • Take time to breathe.
  • Look away from the screens around you and take the time to connect with the real world.
  • Know the power of a smile. Understand how so many little things can improve your life, and the lives of those around you.
  • Do something you love.
  • Commit, and follow through.
  • Know your weakness. Treasure your strengths. Utilize all of them.
  • Know your dreams. Understand them. If you can make them possible, do it.
  • Love unconditionally. Know when to walk away.
  • See yourself as valuable. You are.

This is my short list. What's yours?

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