It’s December 1st. You know what that means — the holiday season is in full swing. In fact, Hanukkah begins tonight. But it’s also a significant day for other reasons.
Today is World AIDS Day which is intended to raise awareness of people infected by HIV and to help stop the spread of HIV.
It’s also the 55th anniversary of the day that Rosa Parks fueled the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. Parks was arrested, sparking a boycott of the bus line that lasted 381 days. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the boycott and the protest spread across the country.
Of course, I want to educate my children about the various meanings of today, but I also don’t want to overwhelm them with too much information.
Since the story of Hanukkah is, at heart, a story about miracles, I might talk about how miracles aren’t just things that magically happen to us. We can make our own miracle by standing up for something we believe in, just as Rosa Parks did. Or we can work to raise money and awareness about HIV.
At ages 5 and 8, my girls are too young to understand the details about AIDS, but they are old enough to know not to judge someone by the color of their skin or their medical condition.
Tonight when we light the first Hanukkah candle, I will be thinking of the lives that Rosa Parks changed and the lives that have been lost to AIDS.