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We Can Do Better, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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We can do better! We must do better. I don’t just believe it, I know it. But today as I fly home with my family on July 4, on a nearly empty airplane, I’m gripped by the conviction.

    He is a small, freckled-faced, strawberry blonde, dark eyed, six year old boy in the aisle in front of us. He was “pre-loaded” on our flight and checked on repeatedly by the flight attendants. Quiet during the first hour of the trip, during the second hour he is antsy, troublesome and fidgets constantly. He has punched the flight attendant call button at least thirty times. Tired of his stack of books, he starts trying to use the in-flight phone.

    To his right are two empty seats. He is alone. Alone in a plane full of families traveling together on vacations. Alone in an adult world. You can see the longing in his eyes. He is caught between the separate worlds of mom and dad in that abyss kids drop into when mom and dad divorce. He is in the Land of Alone.

    We can do better. As adults, we can do much better. Kids don’t choose for parents to marry or to conceive or to divorce. Parents choose to marry, have kids, promise God they will stay together, and promise children to give them a family. Parents also choose to divorce.

We can do better. We must do better.
    We can do better. We must do better. We can’t abandon our commitments and leave our kids in the Land of Alone. We can’t keep letting our personal agendas rob our children of their childhood, their security, their homes, and their families. We can’t keep making kids shuttle betwen parents, alone on jet planes. We can do better.

    I know there are legitimate reasons couples separate. I don’t believe in leaving a person in a dangerous situation with a partner that is an adulterer, addict, or abuser. Yes, I believe God permits divorce when a partner has been sexuallly unfaithful. But even then, he still hates it. He hates the damage, the carnage, the pettiness, and the spite. He hates to have kids lost in the Land of Alone. We can do better.

    Very few people are happier after their divorce. Hoping to solve their problems, they find they’ve only increased them. They want a quick fix and end up in an unholy war that makes enemies of the one they once entrusted with their future, their body, their dreams, and their children. We can do better.

    So if you’re contemplating leaving, or straying, or splitting, please ask a flight attendant what it’s like on a Friday or Sunday night for the kids who get shuttled through the Land of Alone. Please don’t quit working and praying to make things better. Please don’t quit on your commitments or your kids will be the ones on a plane by themselves surrounded by families on vacation and them in the Land of Alone.

We can do better...
    ...we must do better...
        ...and with God’s help we will.


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