This conversation about my promise to my children was sponsored by Johnson’s® Baby and The Motherhood; all opinions and experiences are my own. #PromiseToBaby campaign.
How My Promise to My Children Was Formed
Wow. I just watched the Johnson’s video below and I admit, it touched me. Why? Because the Thousand Crane Story is one that I’ve taken to heart. Before I tell you why, please watch the video so you’ll know why it reached so deep into my heart and gave it a tug .
Moved? I was because I had the pleasure of attending an event where storytellers shared the story of Sadako Sasaki during the 60th anniversary year of the bombing of Hiroshima. Sadako was a tiny child at the time of the bombings and while she survived, she would later succumb to cancer.
But her story isn’t about sadness and loss, it’s about hope and peace. Because while she was in the hospital, she began folding paper cranes out of any scrap of paper she could find in the hospital. She went on this mission because an ancient Japanese legend promised that her wish will be granted if she can fold one thousand cranes.
While she wasn’t to be cured, her story is a of compassion, forgiveness, and hope. Her strength has become a symbol of peace and every year children all over the world participate in crane folding and the retelling of her story.
The Thousand Cranes: Making a Promise for Peace
I remember sitting in the darkened theater that day, though chilly inside, I remember being overcome by a warmth and peace. It was the 60th anniversary year and I truly touched by her story and that of the cranes and when at the end, they dropped a curtain to reveal one thousand paper cranes folded by Japanese children as a gift to the children at the school where the event was being held, I teared up. Ok, more than teared up, I cried. Because in that moment I realized that it only takes one person to make the first step. The first offering of hope.
I came home and told my kids about the story and they both looked at me with a puzzled look and said, “We already know that story!” It turns out their school had been commemorating the bombings with the story. “So why didn’t you share it with me?” I asked. They looked at each other and my youngest said with a laugh, “I thought you already knew.” But I didn’t, and maybe if more of us adults did, we’d learn to be more accepting of others. My kids learned that it’s ok to be different, to be from different cultures, to worship differently, but what we have in common is peace.
Making a Promise for Peace: Allowing Myself to Learn from My Kids
So my promise to my boys was to learn to become more like them. They had friends of every race, religion, and sex. They chose friends based on commonalities, passions, and interests. Even now as adults, they’re global citizens. One travels the world to be among the locals, to eat and stay where they do, and to experience life not as tourists, but as the residents do. The other is a law enforcement officer who’s not afraid to do the right thing, to assume the best in people, and to not judge people based on outward appearances.“This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world.” Inscription on the statue of Sadako at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
Making a Promise: To Do Good
But how does this relate to the video? Besides taking me back to the cool auditorium where I desperately wiped my tears on my sleeve, it rekindles a reminder to do good. Sure, some might say it’s exploitation of a sweet story for profit. I disagree. First because it was a Japanese tradition for generations, but it was Sadako’s story that brought it to the world at large. I also believe that there are kind and caring people in every business, even large corporations. I truly believe that Johnson’s decision to change the formula of their products isn’t just a monetary move, but one that puts them in line with what their customers want, and what I want for my future grandkids.
Would I have recommended the old formula Johnson’s Baby Products? No. Are these the best new reformulated products they can be? No. Are they a HUGE step towards making better products for our kids? ABSOLUTELY! And for that I applaud Johnson’s and I hope they continue on this path. I ask for them to be honest about what’s in their products so that we can make our own choices about whether or not we want to use them on our children, as I do from all companies who create products I bring into my home. I also hope that they’ll continue to be open to suggestions and be quick to make changes for the better.
From Johnson’s® Baby:
We are always committed to listen to moms, and although our products have always been safe, we took a stand and changed our formulas to give you peace of mind. We’ve met our 2013 Safety and Care Commitment to remove formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and reduce traces of 1,4 dioxane from all of our baby products, everywhere around the world.
Additionally, for most of our new and improved baby products, we have removed parabens – ahead of our 2015 commitment as part of our promise to you. The new and improved products will continue to roll out onto retail shelves until we meet all of our commitments. For more information about our policies and timeline, visit safetyandcarecommitment.com.
Our products and policies will always evolve to reflect the latest science, new regulations and – just as importantly – your views and concerns.
My Promise to My Children
After all, that’s all we can do as parents. Learn, change, adapt, and grow. What we believe and know today, may not be true tomorrow. But what will always be the same is the love and commitment to our children and my commitment to peace.
I still cry when I see one thousand cranes hanging because I know behind them is a wish, a wish so strong, that significant time must be spent to attempt to achieve it. Sadly, not everyone gets their wish, but the cranes are there to remind us that they were here, they did matter, and they had hope.
My promise to my kids, and their future children, isn’t about leaving them a material legacy. I want to leave them a legacy of happiness, peace, and health. What’s your promise to your child/children?