Learning isn’t always about getting along

My son and I argued on the way to school today. That has happened a lot since the election.  His solution is to not talk about politics or problems in the world.  And although I’m sure I won’t win the mother of the year award for this, I told him I would rather have a contentious relationship, than a fake one.  I told him that if he wants to know me and I am to know him, it’s not just about being a mother and a son.  Having a relationship isn’t about always getting along or being confined to the roles of childhood.  I told him learning doesn’t come from pretending to agree or being silent so that there is never a moment of discomfort.  I told him, in fact, that is what is wrong in this world – we have no idea how to challenge our own thinking and avoid anyone who asks us to do so. As human beings we learn and grow from each other, from struggle, from discomfort, from critically engaging in the world around us; that is education.   So if we argue many more times, it is because you are worth it. You are worth knowing how I really feel.  I am worthy of knowing how you really feel. You are strong enough to listen and deeply think about how you need to change.  I am strong enough to listen and change too.  We are both stronger for fighting for what we believe in, standing with others who are fighting for what they believe in, and being unafraid to change when our thinking is misinformed.




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