Sunday Post 64: Valuing Others

Posted Danny

Tonight one of Stephanie’s best friends is spending the night.  She’s black.

Big deal, huh?

I hadn’t thought much about it.  But tonight as I was sitting on my couch, I read an African-American mother’s thoughts on the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.  It made me glad that my kids have friends who don’t look just like them.

I just don’t get it.  How does this happen?  A community watch volunteer shoots and kills a kid holding a bag of Skittles.  There is something awfully wrong here. 

I fear that many of these situations come less from true danger and more from bias and prejudice. 

I am fortunate.  I think I’ve spent so much time with people from so many backgrounds through my work at the Y that I have a little less fear than many.  I’ve spent a great deal of time with people rich and poor, black and white, gay and straight.  Some of them are mean, but most are not.  A few are scary – but only a few.  The ones who give me the hardest time are typically the ones who look the most like me.

But I am not perfect.  I’ve made assumptions about others based purely on their exterior.  Maybe that’s human nature.  But it’s wrong.  

I can’t stop the violence.  I can only work on me.

I can fight making assumptions –

I can nod or smile when I walk by someone, even if he doesn’t wear bow ties and his skin isn’t lily white –

I can teach my kids that everyone is important, that everyone is equal, and that I love and accept them for who they are –

I can put a stop to judgments of others in my house –

And I can put value on the time I spend with those who aren’t just like me –

That’s what I can do.

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10 Comments

  1. Annette Heath

     /  March 25, 2012

    When we lived in Raleigh my daughter, Kate, was president of her class a couple times in HS and then student body pres. She was also the HOBY girl in her jr. year summer, and one of the two NC Senators to Girls’ Nation. She was president of NC State HS students. I am not stating this to brag, tho her Dad and I were proud beyond reason. She chose to attend Duke because she felt she would find more diversity there. That she did…her roomate was Indian. On one occasion we met a young lady who was Kate’s friend, and who lived in another part of NC. We had heard so many nice things about this young lady from our Kate. The young girl was black. Our daughter never saw fit to mention that. She taught us a lesson at that moment. Diversity and leadership opportunities were very important to Kate. Kate attended GW Univ in Wash. DC for her MBA and is now a senior defense strategist for Boeing. Her love of people and diversity is evident in her international business travels and study abroad. Our lives are so much richer for embracing those who graciously share their cultures, religions, and lives with us.

    Reply
  2. Mom

     /  March 25, 2012

    Amen! I can’t imagine the sadness of this mother and father over the senseless loss of this son. What a waste of human life. You’re right. We can only change our own attitudes and try to influence those around us.

    Reply
  3. Homestead Ramblings

     /  March 25, 2012

    Amen and Amen! Well said kind sir. May I have your permission to repost this on my blog, with full credits give to you?

    Reply
  4. Helen LaVere

     /  March 25, 2012

    Amen!

    Reply
  5. Aunt Susan

     /  March 25, 2012

    This only shows the strength that the girls are growing up with, and what good people they will be to their commuity when they are on their own.
    I wish more parents were like you, and stephanies friend’s parents.

    Reply
  6. Melanie Walker

     /  March 26, 2012

    You certainly have your fair share of experience with crazy people – like your friend here commenting at 4 AM. Glad you don’t judge us. xo

    Reply
  7. I’m in total agreement, well said!

    Reply

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