The moment I determine someone’s value by the color of their skin, ethnicity, or social and economic status, I have just imprisoned the effects of their potential on my life. In other words, when I hate the surface I also reject the gift on the inside.
Society must stop allowing surface issues from dictating life’s choices and start permitting honor to be the mandate of life. This breakdown happens when decisions are made about one’s value based on taught stereotypes which are produced from those who hold accountable an entire population for the actions of a few. They forcibly hold hostage entire ethnic groups because they made the assumption that the reason a certain perpetrator did what they did was the result of their skin color or ethnic background. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The color of one’s skin or ethnic background has no ability to cause a person to commit a crime or wreak havoc on society. It’s what is on the inside – the condition of heart and one’s perspective and lens concerning the value of others. Where do these perspectives come from? They are not innate but they are taught from childhood forward from parents and educational systems. Education imparts knowledge which in turn creates a lens for the individual to look through. This is the power of education and child training.
Dorothy Law Nolte wrote in Children Learn What They Live (1998) the following.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
It is incumbent upon all of us to create an environment in our homes conducive to fortifying the lens in our children to see others as valuable and as equals. Teach them to realize that when a crime is perpetrated on humanity that it is the result of the person’s character and not the color of skin or ethnicity.
Treat others the way you want to be treated