Guest Post By: Jeff Wood
With all that is going on in the world today with racism and hate, have you ever stopped and wondered what it would look like if us as adults acted like our kids. I’m not talking tantrums and pooping our pants but how they view people and act upon that.
Right now is Black History Month and in Alberta it’s finally recognized but we are only the 4th province to do so. All the hate getting thrown at muslims in the world is horrible and to top it off the United States has a right-wing president leading their country. People use words and phrases to put down others without even thinking. Slander towards gay rights and religion became part of how people talk and has been that way as long as I can remember. I know I have caught myself doing the exact same thing from time to time without asking myself why.
I will never forget the life lesson my younger daughter gave me at 5 years old when I was upset and used words I shouldn’t have towards someone, because of something they did while driving. She looked at me and said “My friend is from there and I love playing with her!” Holly shit, what a wake up call for me. Not even realizing that what I was saying not only made zero sense to what had happened but also that my little girl was there listening to what I was saying. I asked myself that day, why are you saying these things? Do I really want my kids thinking like this because of my words when I am just speaking out of my ass?
From that day on I realized that words you use when angry about something or someone have dire effects on those around you and even if you don’t truly believe what you say out of anger, using such hurtful and hate filled words to get a point across only adds to the bigger problem. The world will never change when you add fuel to the fire.
As time has gone on I’m still not perfect by any means. I say things when angry that I shouldn’t but slander towards a group of people is not part of that. It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria going on in the world and speak in a way that is disrespectful and hurtful to others just to show your frustration but it shouldn’t be that way.
This is where us as adults should be like our kids. No matter what race you are, religious beliefs, sex, or sexual orientation kids see people as people. They have the “I’ll play with you if your nice, if your mean I won’t” attitude that we can all live by. It doesn’t matter to my kids where you come from or what you believe they just want to have fun and be loved.
Why can’t us as adults all think this way. The world would be a much better place if we acted like our kids on this matter. No more worrying about race, religion or any other unique trait we have and using that against those that upset us. We should just be happy, talk to the people we like and share our love to others, celebrate what makes us different. If we have a problem with someone, leave it with them and not where they are from or what they believe. Society would have less problems if we acted like our kids.
I still to this day thank my little girl for that life lesson many years ago. I love how all 3 of my kids think and act and speak in a kind manner, and how they taught me to do the same. I hope they never lose that mentality and I as a dad will do my part so they never change. People learn this behavior from others including parents, not one person in the world is born with prejudice. I know I am happier as a person looking at the world through my kids eyes, they remind me everyday that people are people – end of story!