In my own experience I have seen that in order to do anything well, I require focus. In any given day, there are frequently a vast number of opportunities towards which I can direct my attention. When I actively choose to focus on one, or a few of those options, my productivity increases and achieving excellence is possible. At this moment in history, the same amount of focus is needed. Inspired by the wisdom of a beloved sister-in-law, I am convinced that this focus must be on the family.
When it comes to identifying the most important things in life, I focus on the gifts I have received which form the foundation for all I think, say, and do. Without hesitation, they are faith and family. My sister-in-law is the wife of a naval officer and mother of two small children. I was struck the other day by her wisdom, sincerity, and simplicity of truth:
“If we want real change in our country that transcends political loyalties, we have to return our focus to the family. Teach your little boys to be respectful, generous, and to have empathy. Teach your little girls to have confidence, independence, and to be kind. Treat your spouse with honor and fidelity. Families are the basic building blocks of a nation; they must emanate positive values in order for the nation to reflect those values.”
If everything in this world constructed by man should one day fail, neither my faith nor my family could be broken or taken away. Within the context of family, I learned my identity and encountered my first experience of love. With the gift of faith, I am certain of the One from whom my identity was given and the One who continues to love me into existence. If the family truly is the building block of society, then our focus must be redirected, here. Let us commit to raising our children to recognize their inherent dignity and the dignity of every human being. Thank you, Erin.