A piece of our souls we pass on to each child
That we are allowed to hold and guide for a while.
Do we really honor this great responsibility
By attempting to become the best that we can be?
Or do we pretend, "Do as I say, not as I do."
Is the message on which our children will follow through?
We now salve our consciences with, "I did the best I could."
Acting as if, by saying this, we turn our guilt into good.
Guilt is not to be confused with destructive shame;
Guilt accepts responsibility; shame seeks to place blame.
We must allow our children to question authority;
They will never become truly adult if we fear honesty.
The problem with being a child is that the power is uneven;
How are dependent babies expected to stand toe-to-toe with men?
If we truly felt that our souls existed in these vulnerable creatures,
Wouldn't we stop competing with them, and become their teachers?
I don't believe that my soul will rest until the pain I caused is undone.
If not by me, I hope by the families of my daughter and my son.
Sneering, snarling, calling names, certainly doesn't show
That both involved parties are attempting to grow.
It does take equal commitment to a relationship,
Or when the going gets rough, one party will certainly quit.
We must ask for an atmosphere of mutual respect
This is the piece that so many conversations neglect.