If I Ruled the World

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Because I rule the world, I will never let a screen take my place in your life because I need to “get things done.” Instead, you will learn to help with my daily tasks, and I will wear with pride the wrinkled clothes you folded as best you could with your tiny hands. Truly, finery fit for a queen!

Because I rule the world, I get to decide what pursuits deserve our time, money and energy. I will watch and listen carefully for signs that your passion has been sparked, and I will nurture that passion in order to bring you real, lasting happiness. Understanding the importance of passion in bringing meaning to your life, you will want the same for others, and your interactions will reflect the goals of an expansive spirit.

Because I rule the world, I will exhaust my intelligence and creativity before I even consider using force. I will pretend-paint your teeth the colour of your choice to make you giggle when brushing instead of restraining you. I will point out the humour in any spat, or fashion it myself with a rat-a-tat-tat (wait, am I speaking in rhyme as I’m telling you “No”? It works for now, but what about when you grow?). As a young man, you will expect no less from your leaders, and vote for those who use their wits to strive for peace.

Because I rule the world, you will learn the names of the plants, trees and animals living around us before you can identify the logos of fast food restaurants, or identify cartoon characters and their associated products. Your love of nature will always mediate your material desires, and this will help the planet to heal.

Because I rule the world, I will try to set an example for you in everything I do. I won’t speak badly of others, always looking for the good, or at least for how I might respond to others in the most constructive way. I won’t use disagreements with Papa as an opportunity to express anger; I will bite my tongue until it agrees to be rational! In this way, you will learn temperance, and I will learn humility.

Because I rule the world, I will give you room to make mistakes. I’ll be there to help with all life’s spills, literal now, metaphorical later: the carelessness that results in a precious object being lost; the insensitive comment that jeopardizes a friendship; the chemistry class you might decide isn’t worth your while. You will know what it means to be a human being in the fullest sense, blessed (and sometimes seemingly cursed) with free will, in a country that grants you the dignity and responsibility of bearing such a gift.

Because though I rule the world today, it will not always be so. One day, with hands a little more wrinkled than they are now, I will pass it over to you, shaped and folded as best I could with my mommy’s hands.

By Emily Perkins

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