As a mom to two little black boys, I face a dilemma moms raising other races will not likely deal with: the realization that no matter how bright and educated my sons grow up to be, some members of society will always see them as a threat. Scary and sad, especially in light of the Trayvon Martin incident.
I'm always aware that I can't help them learn how to walk through this world as a black man...that's something their father and other black men will have to school them on. I hear black women say they can raise black boys into men better than a man. I dare to disagree, but that's a whole 'nother talk show. Lately, I've been finding myself trying to make my boys conscious of the fact that they always need to be aware of their surroundings. As black boys, they will have to develop a sixth sense that many other races don't have to.
While I can't entirely help them navigate the ins and outs of being a man, I can teach them how to be gentlemen. As a mother I do have influence and there are other ways I can shape them.
Here are 10 things I want my boys to learn as they walk through life:
1. Get wisdom! And use it. "Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment." Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)
2. Avoid adulteress women who flatter and lead to destruction. I want them to learn the difference between an upright woman and loose women who as the Bible says: "have been the ruin of many; Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death." Sex without strings always has strings attached.
3. Be a gentleman...always. Open doors, offer your seat, pull out chairs, walk curbside. And for the women who adamantly shun such offers, be a gentleman and respect that as well. But at least offer.
4. Learn to drive a stick shift. You never know when the moment will arise when you will need to.
5. Watch what you watch. What you entertain with your eyes will continue to play in your head and your heart will follow.
6. Keep your word. Be honest. No one likes a liar.
7. Women will judge you by your confidence, shoes and cleanliness. That's just the way the world works. So make sure they are all on point.
8. Swag is nice, but success is better. My husband always says he doesn't care if the boys are nerds because it's usually the nerdy ones who make it to the top.
9. You will have to learn to navigate two worlds: a black world and the mainstream world. The earlier you learn this the better.
10. Finding a good wife leads to a double bonus for you (treasure AND favor from God)--so choose wisely. And once you get her, don't you let her go. "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22 (NLT)
If you're mother to a black boy, what would you add to the list?