Today, like most days this summer, I took The Swimmy to Day Camp at our local Jewish Community Center. Along the way I was bombarded with stories about Dance Camp and Jazz Hands and the latest Backyardigans episode. But even through thousands upon thousands of words and ideas are exiting her mouth, she can still notice things you and I would never look twice at. She doesn’t miss a beat.
“Mommy, why is there a police car here?”
“Well, sweetie, he’s here to keep everyone safe.”
She bought it, but it struck me that I had to choose my words carefully. You see, Swimmy, that’s true, but not the whole truth.
The WHOLE Truth is that there are people in this world that hate you just because of who you are and what you are being taught to believe. They think the building you are going to go run and play and dance and swim at should be blown up with you in it. They think their beliefs are truly worth dying for and that killing you will give them the key to a place they’ve been taught is good and decent.
And so we have to have police there – to keep you safe.
But the REAL Truth is that one police car is not going to keep you safe. We have to trust that there are other people with great technology, great intelligence and great commitment who are also working on keeping you safe.
I’m sure this year you will notice many more police at special places we go. And I’m sure I’ll have to figure out a way to explain to you “why” with enough detail to remind you how special you are in this world and in G-d’s eyes, but stopping short of frightening you.
I think we’ll talk about how there is a lot of responsibility of being a Chosen People, and how we need to take care of the world. But we’ll also talk about how there are some people that don’t believe in helping to take care of the world. They only want to take care of themselves and don’t care who they hurt. You will know that in G-d’s eyes and our own, they are evil and wrong and we have an obligation to say that and judge them.
Just know that as you go through life you may feel unsafe, but you will never feel unloved. And a hug may not protect you from evil, but instead of thinking you may be but one person in the world, remember that you are the world to us.