Parenting: Two Very Different Approaches

April 19th, 2012

4-19-12I wrapped up a long day yesterday and was back at The Kindness Bus locking up The Kindness Bicycle. Abel and his daughter Zoe drove up to me in their car. Abel told me of how The Kindness Bus and Bicycle inspired his daughter. She loved the messages and all that was written and wanted to share her feelings about some of them. We talked for a while and took some photos. It was a moment shared by a father supporting his daughter for her viewpoints on having a goal of kindness. This connection was in sharp contrast to an encounter which took place a few hours earlier.
While riding, I took a wrong turn on The Kindness Bicycle and ended up in a not so desirable neighborhood. Thinking nothing of it, I approached a house in total disrepair with all the windows and doors looking like they had been boarded up for sometime. Three adult men, a woman and a few children were hanging out in the back yard. I rode by the property with the side of The Kindness Bicycle that has the sign, Riding for Police and Firefighters killed in the line of duty, facing them. One of the men started shouting out at me to “get this out of my neighborhood,”  “get out of here” and “get that sign out of here.” Of course there were several other words he included that I won’t include in this article.
These are two examples of what type of role models parents are to their children. It breaks my heart to see the lives some children have, because of their parents. Teaching children respect for authority, especially those who have given their lives in the line of duty, is a core value that many kids are not learning from parents. “Teach respect,” is one of my favorite writings on The Kindness Bus.
Today I traveled north into Albuquerque, New Mexico and arrived earlier than expected. It allowed me to visit the New Mexico State Police and Fire Station 13 to have some great conversations with these local Heroes. The generosity at both stops was incredible. I am going to enjoy this town for the next few days.

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