I have some big, sometimes controversial beliefs. I label myself a feminist, and that automatically gets me both cheers and groans depending on the audience (you tend to just look blankly and turn back to watching PAW Patrol). I also champion breastfeeding and a mother’s right to the support required to meet her goals, and to feed her child for as long as they both mutually wish to do so. I believe in equality, firmly supporting LGBTQ rights and those of other minority groups, and will state my opinions openly and plainly for all to hear. I also believe gravy on roast potatoes is very wrong.
But it seems like anyone who has strong beliefs in anything these days is fair game for ridicule or hate. I don’t know if it’s just not cool to care, or if it makes others feel uncomfortable and they mask it with chastisement or venom.
Luckily for you, you come from a family of rebels, and we are quite happy to swat away any negativity and use the fuel to shout louder about what we believe matters.
It’s good to believe in something. It grounds you. It makes you appreciate what you’ve got and what others don’t have. It makes you look at the world with a healthy dose of cynicism and emboldens you to stop blindly following the crowd.
As you grow, I will share my views and beliefs with you, and of course I hope you’ll agree with me, because I think I’m right! However, I also hope you come to your own conclusions and call me out if you think I’m wrong. I might be your mother but I am not infallible, no matter what you might think right now, and I have no right to your wonderful mind and the ideas and beliefs it will form – that is your gift.
A heads up though, little one, you won’t always be right either.
Your Nanna always says “you don’t know what you don’t know”, and she’s definitely right about that. But there will be a time, probably in your late teens/ early twenties (if you’re anything like me), when you believe you know everything already. It will be a shock when you realise you don’t and the world you thought you knew inside out suddenly seems fragile, filling you with self doubt. At that point you will also learn that the world has so much more to teach you and holds so much excitement and mystery for you to explore.
Don’t fear being wrong my love, we are all only human after all, but do embrace the opportunity to change, to learn and to grow.
Open your eyes and your mind to the world and find something to believe in -a cause, a movement, a code. Believe in it because it inspires you, because there is work that needs to be done, and because you feel in your heart that it is right.
Having beliefs can help you figure out who you are and your place in the world. They don’t need to take over your life (unless you want them to) but can give you a platform to shape your own set of values and your personal code.
I believe this is important, and I believe you will find some truly wonderful things to believe in.