With all of the hate speech today, Patrick Sallee wants to talk to his daughters about tolerance and acceptance.
The world is a pretty nasty place. You are in kindergarten, you know … I hear your stories about all the drama at school …
What concerns me is that it gets worse. I turn on the news and one of the leading candidates for President is on the screen spewing hatred, intolerance and bigotry. And apparently hate sells.
What does this mean for your generation? There is so much hate. Every day there is a story of an attack against someone because of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or who they love. I see your laughter and your smiles and I know the world isn’t meant to be this hateful. We aren’t born with it … we learned to judge and hate over time. Kids your age are learning this hate. They are learning to judge, to divide and to be intolerant. That isn’t how life is meant to be though.
As you get older, it will be harder to avoid the influential messages from music, television and the internet. While you are still young, I want you to hear these facts about how to treat other people:
-People will tell you someone else isn’t cool because of the color of their skin. They are wrong. The color of someone’s skin doesn’t matter, it is the strength of their character and the depth of their heart that you relate to.
- The world wants you to be scared of people different from you. Ignore that. It is the differences among us that bring flavor to life. Seek out people that can expand your world.
- Stereotypes expect certain things from you. Ignore them. Love what you love. Let other people do the same.
- Fear is a killer. It steals happiness and makes people hateful. Don’t fall for it. It is all a lie.
- You will be treated poorly at some point. How someone else behaves is not a reflection of you, but it speaks volumes about them.
- It is normal to get wrapped up in competition, but try not to. When someone else succeeds, it doesn’t mean you lose. Encourage the people around you. Compliments are free, so give them away.
- The easy thing to do is to keep your mouth shut and go along with the crowd. But the “in crowd” is often wrong. Speak up…for yourself, for other people.
My hope for you is that for as long as possible, you see people through the optimistic lens you do now. Learn to love people for who they are. Accepting people who don’t look like you, live like you or think like you will enhance their lives . ..but more importantly it will enhance yours.
While most of the world is shouting and getting angry, realize you have greater impact and influence when you try to understand other people rather than judging them.