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Friday, September 28, 2018

What I'm Saying to My Son About the Kavanaugh Hearings

You can bet that my bright high school guy is aware of the happenings regarding Supreme Court Justice Candidate, Brett Kavanaugh.  He has opinions.  My job is to help him see the greater implications and how he can apply lessons to his own life.

We can't know the truth of the matter, but "How do you think you can avoid being accused of something you didn't do?"  I asked my son.  "I can't," was his quick reply.  "Even in school, rumors spread so quickly.  If 5,000 people already believe, it really doesn't matter if it's true."

Wow.  He already feels the weight of presumed guilt.  We talked more about living a life of integrity, character being his only true ally.  We identified the importance of guarding against being alone with someone who could lie.  I talked about how essential it is to remain sober - alcohol and drugs can open the door for too many questions.

Our conversation wasn't about whether we believe Kavanaugh or the accusers. We may never know what may or may not have happened.  Perceptions are often more important than reality.  I think it is brave for any woman to stand up and state when she is assaulted.  I think it is sad for any man to be falsely accused.  We have no way to determine the facts and so this is a no-win situation.

To my son, I can only hope that you remember this moment and live far within the boundaries of integrity.  Someday you may run for office or run a store, you may stand on an assembly line or in a pulpit.  I reminded you this morning that how you choose to behave matters, even now.  Your character and reputation are being built today.

I've learned that the truth does eventually come into the light.  We cannot rush the process.  I've witnessed twisted accusations against my father, that were ultimately dismissed as someone with their own agenda.  I know the pain it causes the individual, as well as the family.  I am also a woman who was silent about assault in my own past.  I understand the hesitation to share - we almost wish it would just go away.  I have been accused and I have been assaulted.  

I pray my daughters and my sons are never placed in either position.

Updated to add: I asked my son to read this prior to posting and make sure he was comfortable with me quoting him...he assures me he is not "feeling the weight of presumed guilt."