My husband and I took a trip just a month or so ago and my usual frustration with security came up as they scanned me like a criminal. It reminded me of the times I’ve been ‘assaulted’ at airport security before, always it seems with 5-10 little children in tow and at least half of the time traveling by myself with them, once I even had to nurse a baby while waiting in security – and being scanned!- a poor baby who could wait no longer in these long lines! (How embarrassing for a mother who is extremely discreet!) OK, maybe assaulted is a strong word but it’s about how it feels when they make you take your baby that just fell asleep out of the stroller or out of the pack upon you, fold up the stroller and place it on the scanner all while holding the baby and taking off children’s backpacks and shoes and putting travel bags, baby bags, and anything else attached to one’s body onto the scanner. It is getting a little better now, I don’t think children have to take their shoes off anymore (held up the line too much??).
The time I felt most assaulted was when they took the babies’ formula to test it and in the flurry of people and bags the girls and I forgot it. A lady kindly came running after us and told us we forgot our formula but someone had to come back with her to get it. My arms were full, along with those of my older twin daughters’, so my dear niece who was traveling with us, helpfully volunteered to go back with the woman to get the formula. I had absolutely NO IDEA that my NIECE, at 17 years old, would be full-body frisked in order to pick up the formula!!!! I had felt hurt and upset before but never so much as at the moment my niece came back with the formula and a little shaken up and horrified by what just happened. It was almost more than my mother-heart could bear. Here I had been entrusted with the care and keeping of my dear niece that we all love so much, one of the most virtuous, lovely, and beautiful people I know, and they not only scanned her like a criminal but they HAD to frisk her!
My husband always reminds me to be grateful for the nation’s attempts at security and, as he probably could in my face see these painful memories returning as we waited in the security line and then had to step into a scanning unit with our arms up (criminal until proven innocent) he mentioned once more ‘be glad they are keeping us safe.’
“Are they?” I quietly retorted, “If someone really wants to do something bad they can do it, none of these measures will stop them.”
We were glad to have a delightful, incident-free trip together and landed a few hours later at our destination. We entered a comfortable hotel room and turned on the news. The headline story was of the young pilot who had driven an airplane full of precious people, so many individual, meaningful, valuable lives, into a mountain to take his life and theirs. The thing that had allowed him to do this? The security code put into place because of 9/11. I was far too devastated to say ‘I told you so’.
So if spending millions and billions of dollars on new and improved security devices does not keep us secure (i.e. money spent on scanning methods and machines, research, better trained and many more security guards, new and improved gates and walls and codes, etc… along with the cost of so many things taken away at security- from my own personal experience I will mention eyedrops, lotions, drinks, lipglosses, haircutting scissors, garden tools, – ok, I can be accused of being not that mindful of carrying things that could be used by a criminal, oops) –if these millions and billions of dollars along with all the extra time spent planning, preparing, scanning, watching, waiting in lines aren’t stopping evil men from harming, hurting and taking the innocent lives of men and women, and children, what would?? What would make our lives, our nation, our world a much safer place?
In PA they just passed a law that all volunteers working with children must have background checks (again feeling criminal until proven innocent). It is a sad day to see those who are already working so hard to help children be burdened more heavily by paperwork and government checkpoints. But then I look at my little ones faces and know we would do anything to protect them. Or would we?? Would we really do what it takes to see a safer country, a safer world, for our children? Do background checks and clearances really help all that much? Or is this the wimpy way out? We read a statistic that said it is estimated only 2% of the crimes against children would have been stopped by background checks last year, most likely far less than that that when it comes to the population of those who actively volunteer. What might help protect our children MUCH more? Perhaps outlawing pornography, violent videogames and movies, alcohol and drugs? What would protect them EVEN MORE? Maybe teaching, leading, and inspiring children and adults to be people of good character, upholding ideals and values and virtue in our society. (And I COMMEND GREATLY ALL THOSE organizations & individuals working soo hard to TEACH crucial knowledge for life!) But then what would help the VERY, VERY MOST of ANYTHING in ALL the WORLD?
What is the greatest security system we have in the USA or ANYWHERE in the world?!
The answer seems to be good Mothers and Fathers rearing their children in love and security, teaching them to have a moral conscience, to look to God and keep His commandments, teaching them that they are accountable to Him, from the time they are tiny, teaching goodness in their homes, most of all by example. This may have the greatest power to change hearts for the most good for the longest time, it may have the most power of anything in the end to make our nation and world more secure. While building better scanning machines and stronger gates and more locks consumes unbelievable amounts of time and money, building stronger families actually returns rewards that are nearly unimaginable, for generations!!! Costs less, rewards much, MUCH more. I wish our nation (meaning individual people, entertainment, AND congress) would concentrate MORE on teaching, training, upholding, strengthening, even recognizing the best resource we have for a safe future, good mothers and fathers.
Mother’s and Father’s can change hearts and souls from the very beginning of life where they have the most everlasting influence, with love at home. They have the most influence of any with their little ones that they can love better than any. They have the most power for good with those who are just beginning to grow in their loyalties and love, just beginning to be shaped, molded, with those little human beings that are becoming under their loving, watchful care. Parents have more influence than anyone else with those tiny ones that are most open to learning from them what really matters most for their own success and the success of our nation, for true prosperity, freedom, peace, full life, LOVE, and JOY!!
Happy belated Mother’s Day to each of you wonderful women who is a mother, those of you who carefully care for nurture, shape, and bring up the beings who carry the promise of the future, whether they have been born of you or not!!! (I was too busy being a mother to write!) Bravo to your every effort in behalf of your children, our future!
“In all events, a mother can exert an influence unequaled by any other person in any other relationship.” (D. Todd Christofferson, The Moral Force of Women)
And an early happy Father’s Day to each of you amazing, wonderful men who are willing to care for, lead, protect and provide for these same little beings!- who will bless the future forever because you have given it your time, attention, strength and wisdom!
President Harold B. Lee stated that “the most important… work that you [fathers] will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.”
You, mothers and fathers, though you may feel very ordinary, maybe even unimportant, and you who are choosing to strengthen and uphold mothers and fathers and families and religion in our homes, though you may not feel sufficient to the task, you ARE the security of our nation, the only real hope of safety and peace, prosperity and happiness, of all that is good, right, and joyful for our future.
These are the lyrics to a song written by a friend, Joy Lundberg, a woman who has contributed so very much, along with her husband, to saving families! She and her cousin, Janice Kapp Perry, wrote this in the hope that people would rise up to help “Save the Family”.
May each of us do all we can to support, strengthen, uplift, and uphold motherhood, fatherhood, and FAITH in God in this country and all others, as long as we live so that we can have a more secure life, nation, and world!
Love, The Hoffmans
This is a TREMENDOUS youtube clip explaining just why to have freedom we must have moral individuals! (Like the middle school that has children making bad choices has to be less free (no backpacks in the halls, ONE minute between classes, little flexibility, policemen hounding school lockers frequently) than the middle school that can trust the children to make good choices (children can come and go as they please and have a much more enjoyable environment & and enjoy richer relationships with teachers & each other).)
P.S. wow, we have had an AMAZING month over here as we welcomed Emily and Anna back from their first year of college, thoroughly enjoyed our time with them and then, with lots of tears but happy hearts, sent them off on their missions!!! More later! 😉