It’s a running joke that Miss America wishes for world peace. I’m not sure why it’s funny; maybe because it’s impossible to imagine actual world peace. Maybe, because the overly-made-up women saying that world peace exists live in what seems to be a bubble to the rest of us who live mostly in yoga pants with unwashed hair and unmade lunches for school tomorrow.
But, don’t we all live in a bubble of one type or another? And, don’t we all wish for world peace?
Maybe it’s because world peace is too vast. It’s like understanding the universe is really and truly infinite, when we are humanly incapable of understanding what infinity means.
Plus, when it comes to world peace, none of us truly understand the struggle in cultures other than our own.
Of living in a war zone if we haven’t.
We don’t understand true starvation or not having access to clean water unless we’ve had to find clean water and something to eat.
I wish that all of humankind have access to clean water, and to food. To education, equality, and tolerance.
In the meantime, the vastness of a planet’s voices needing and wishing becomes overwhelming.
And so, we wish for small and big things in daily life.
And that’s ok.
We feel guilty, sometimes, for wishing for something when others are fighting for their lives.
But to negate our own wishes simply because others wish for things that “are worse” would be to negate our own human experience.
I’ve struggled with this a lot, as a special needs mama whose son is doing well.
I wish my son were more able to adapt, and then feel guilty about that because I know mamas who have kids who struggle to adapt MORE.
My dad told me long ago that somebody else’s struggle does not negate our own. And I believe that. We’re allowed our sorrows, after all.
We’re allowed to be humans who are flawed. Humans who wish for things.
Wishing for our kids to be okay after our death isn’t dismissed because there are children whose mothers are taken from them too soon.
We can pray for both.
We can wish for a land of empathy and wonder.
But to lift our heads from our pillows each day, we must wish for ourselves first.
There’s no way to know how to contribute to global society if we don’t first acknowledge that we have wishes right here, in our homes with clean running water.
What to Wish for Instead of World Peace
I wish for understanding among humans, and that we can each put our baggage on a train and ship it to Mars without us, leaving us to relate to one another.
I wish that we each recognize that we’re flawed and human, and made of stardust and of messy pasts.
I wish for each of us to hug our messy past self, cuddle and kiss her, and then, release her to find her way without our monitoring where she’s gone, because that part of us is gone, and she’s on her own.
She’ll check in while we work on our now-selves.
I wish for each of us to forgive ourselves and one another for stupid decisions, unmade beds, and for being imperfect.
I wish for all humans to see one another as human. That one day, skin color will be as important as a dimple in a cheek, the unique curve of an eyebrow, or the shape of an ear.
I wish that we see beauty for beauty, which is not the faces in magazines, but in each of us, with imperfect features, imperfect lives, and imperfect selves.
I wish, too, that we all want more for one another, in our imperfectness.
That we hold hands and hold hearts, and see one another as flawed and human as we are and love one another anyway.
I wish that my son will find friends, and keep the ones he’s found, regardless of his imperfections which – let’s face it – are different from many of his friends’ imperfections.
I wish that we all know that it’s human to be imperfect.
That mobility is obtained other ways than by walking.
I wish for each of us to know that being flawed is but one of our truths.
I wish that we each remember that we’re imperfectly perfect, and that we each, all of the time, have a choice to make.
We can choose to laugh at those who can’t fight back. Survival of the fittest and all that.
We choose to hug those who can’t fight back. Survival of human empathy, and all that.
I wish that we remember to honor the butterflies in our unexpected grief.
I wish for us to have a butterfly land on our shoulder when we wonder why we’re here.
Life. It’s all bigger and better and more horrible than daily tasks. I wish for us to get done what matters, seeing what doesn’t.
My friend Rebecca texted me tonight, and said that she wishes her children will be secure enough in who they are to forgive and be kind to themselves and others. That they’ll know peace because of an unwavering belief that they matter.
They are worthy.
They are loved.
We all matter. We are each worthy.
I wish that we take hope from an unexpected win, and in unexpected words.
I wish that every special needs mama of a four-year-old who wonders whether he’ll ever speak understandably will watch my son Tucker, who can barely say his name at four-years-old (close to five):
And then come to see her eight-year-old speaking pretty clearly.
Or, at least have hope that speech and language delays get so much better.
I wish that every mama who struggles with what her child is saying will one day listen to him say something like this:
I’d forgotten, friends.
I’d forgotten that when Tucker was four and 3/4, we were still working on saying his name. It wasn’t until I tried to find a snow tubing video for a friend that YouTube reminded me of him struggling to say “Tucker.” That for so long it was guttural, and “Tu-aw.”
I wish for all the struggling mamas to remember how far they’ve come. I wish for that for me, too. To remember how far my Tucker has come.
How far I’ve come, too.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “I wish…”