Why Should you Teach your Kids Kindness and Tolerance?

Short Answer: so someone else doesn’t have to. . .

Evolution refers to growth. Growth denotes learning from an experience and moving forward from that place – hopefully to a more enlightened state. I am offering an important lesson here, something we all need to learn.

Recently in the Tribune, there was an article of a teacher receiving flowers from his husband, in February for Valentine’s Day. The full article can be read here.

So, what’s the big deal here? Well, this got me thinking. Could this scenario have been avoided? With all the diversity in the world, different races, cultures, beliefs, does anyone ever think of what it is that we have in common?

We are all supposed to be human beings, but what does that mean?

To me, it is a nod that we are a sentient race. We can feel and reason. We can discern right from wrong, and most importantly, we can learn and grow. So, why is it that some people are stuck in the stone age?

Why should this incident have been an issue at all?

In my mind, some things can be averted simply, yes, simply, by a couple of things.

For Christians: It is not “Christian-like” to judge – remember the Judge not, lest ye be judged verse? That comes from the bible, a holy book that you may own, quote and evidently rewrite if you’re not following this important Christian rule. Only God judges.

If you’re not walking down the Christian path, that’s fine. Nobody cares or is judging you for that. At least not here. How about just being a good, tolerant and kind person. Be that trail blazer person that is kind and not all judge-y, judge-y.

We have been gifted, in our family, with some pretty terrific grandchildren. They are all so open and loving. I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to any of you, but we humans are born open and loving. Young minds are open for knowledge and information, so I feel it’s our responsibility to make sure the right stuff gets in those little brains.

We are born without prejudice or hate. Those things are taught.

So, something totally crazy came to me after reading this article. Why not take any opportunity to share a “teaching moment” to our own young children?

Growing up I was made aware, at an early age, that my mom was never going to have “the talk” with me. Nope. No first period talk, no facts of life, nope, not happening. She missed a great opportunity that the girl scouts ended up providing. Then, Anna Volpe shared some interesting facts with us in the girls’ bathroom in third grade before the nuns shoo’d us out of there. And that ended my sex education lesson until high school.

Imagine how much easier transitioning into adulthood may have been if someone had taken the time to share some good and pertinent knowledge. So, to expound further on this radical idea of teaching diversity and kindness, my question is why not? What does it take to explain, without a lot of detail, and in an “as a matter of fact” way, that men and women, men and men, women and women can be in love, and get married?

When we neglect to teach kids the basics – people are all different and we should all love each other – we all lose.

I mentioned my grandchildren and how open and loving they are. Children are the future of our planet, our emissaries into the future. They need to be taught love and acceptance, diversity and kindness. They need to know that love comes in many forms. In teaching kindness and acceptance, our children can take this world into a kinder, more accepting future.

These seem like easy, simple steps to me. All part of making the world a better place to live in, by being a positive instrument of change.

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