The Worst Problem in the World Today

I’m convinced Lola has the best (worst) timing of anyone I’ve ever known! For what seems like years I wouldn’t take her to Target with me, for sheer fear of being cornered, AGAIN, into a too-loud conversation about private parts in the fruit cups aisle.  NIGHTMARE!  She also loves deep chats and talking about terribly grownup things, providing insight on topics she doesn’t quite understand.  And these issues always seem to surface in her head at 9pm, hmmm!

As she’s getting older her timing has gotten better, but the topics still run deep.  Last night while we were finishing dinner, just us, Lola asks, “Mom, what do you think is the worst problem in the world today?”

Gulp.  Where to start?  But before I could answer, she continues,

“It’s Civil Rights.”

Civil Rights?

“Yes,” she says “CIVIL RIGHTS!  Because…blacks and browns should be able to sit at the front of the bus. It’s just not right.”

She went on to tell me how Martin Luther King Jr. was once in jail, but then she couldn’t remember why.  This is why I love second grade; no matter how convoluted the details, she is bent on repeating them to the best of her knowledge.  And it’s just so lovely to me, how her heart has latched on to the issue of injustice at such a young age.  To long for justice and fight for what’s right?  Nothing pleases me more!  And even if Rosa Parks lived almost a century ago, we’re still fighting injustices in that department daily  — it’s all over the news and in her school.  And she feels that, too.


This is Lola’s new favorite thing, reading me all of her text message conversations, word by word…now let’s find a way to keep her doing this through high school! #boysurveillance 

Then she turned the question to me.

What do you think is the worst problem in the world today?

It’s a no brainer.

“That it isn’t fair,” I said.  “The worst problem in the world is that it isn’t fair.  It isn’t fair and life isn’t fair and there are so many people who suffer and are poor, and yet so many others who have so much.  It isn’t right, and it isn’t fair.”

I guess injustice is my thing, too.

Injustice in any form has always quickened my heart to action, and ever since I was able to form sentences I would speak out against it.  When I was just about Lola’s age I penned an impassioned letter to then-President Bill Clinton, begging him to do away with abortion altogether.  I was very lit up about abortion, from as early as I can remember.  For Lola, currently growing up in Pleasantville Linden Hills where everyone only speaks of whimsical things, we haven’t had a whole lot of conversation around reproductive rights, so I’m not sure she even knows about abortion at all; but I had a mother who was — and is — determined to tell us the truth on every delicate issue and expose all the realities of the world, no matter how hard to discuss or difficult to swallow.  I didn’t mind.  I love her for that.  And her own story of overwhelming bravery at a very young age with a teenage pregnancy made the Pro-Life choice an easy one for our family.

My mother’s honesty about the issues of the world ignited me as a child; if there was an injustice happening somewhere, I wanted to know about it.  The letter was my form of taking action on that empathy I felt so deeply in my heart for all the unborn babies. Plus, I had always wanted to be inside the White House somehow, ever since our ’91 trip up and down the East Coast led me to the Capitol at age 7. If I couldn’t go inside, well, at least this way my letter could!

I never heard back from Bill.  But if he had read my letter I’m sure his response would be all like, “Cool letter, sad story kid, but ladies should be free to do what they like with their bodies, just take it from my intern —“  OKAY SORRY THAT’S A LAME MONICA LEWINSKI JOKE I won’t even finish it!

For the record, at this point in my life I’m pretty certain I’m Pro-Choice, as I believe God gave each and every one of us free will to make our own choices during our time on earth (and who am I to tell you what to do?!).  MY choice is Pro-Life, and it’s not even because I love babies.  I simply would rather inconvenience my own life temporarily by being pregnant/having a kid than end the life of another human being – a baby – that I don’t even know yet.

And isn’t that what all babies and children are anyway?  Temporary inconveniences that lead to a lifetime of hard work, love unmeasured, and constant surprises, for good or for bad on all counts??

But I digress — INJUSTICE.  It’s all around us, high and low, and I’m very thankful for a daughter who takes notice.  Even if she doesn’t quite understand it, injustice awakens something in her heart, and I never want her to lose that.  The worst problem in the world should be that we care too much about it and about each other.  But until we get to that point — CIVIL RIGHTS!


If you or someone you know is in need of support, post-abortion or for any other issue, my church has phenomenal counseling and care services. Please visit or call 952-944-6300.


2 thoughts on “The Worst Problem in the World Today

  1. Lola has a mind like her mom’s–insightful, caring, and inquisitive. It’s nice to see that the next generation, well Lola at least, has a conscience that extends past her own self. Thanks for sharing.


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