What are you protecting?

There is a viral Tik Tok video going around asking former employees to reveal secrets they had to protect about businesses after they left that business. I was drawn in to the insider information and then I started to wonder why is that there are so many secrets that have to be protected.

For many of us protecting secrets isn’t just something we were asked to do as employees. It was something we were asked to do as children, too. According to recent study by the National Survey of Children’s Health, nearly 35 million children have experienced a traumatic event by age 16. How many of those children were asked to keep their trauma a secret? How many of those children were taught that protecting a secret was more important than protecting them as children?

As a parent and pastor in the midst of pandemic, protecting our own children and the immunocompromised in my congregation is constantly in my heart and mind. What can I do to mitigate risk? How can I protect our children’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being?

It’s exhausting.

In the midst of thinking about who I am protecting, I never ask myself what I am protecting. If I am honest, I am protecting a way of life that now three years into a pandemic doesn’t exist anymore. A way of life that won’t exist for my children. I am protecting a version of childhood I want them to have, but is not their reality.

Perhaps instead of focusing on protection, it’s time to shift to discussions of preparation.