Children are innocently curious.
Sunday 10 April 2016 - in Colorful, different, and the same
Children are innocently curious. One of the most endearing and beautiful things about children is their honesty, unconditional love, and acceptance. When children encounter a perceived difference their first reaction is usually one of curiosity. The perception of difference and the interpretation of this difference as significant is largely learned, taught, and reinforced. The association of perceived difference to a socially transported stigma or bias is what we call discrimination. Children and people all over the world are born with the ability to exercise discernment. Discernment is what makes it possible for us to distinguish between different colors, events, time periods, temperature changes. Over time we collect experiences which we begin to associate with the things we encounter. The seasons in nature are a wonderful example. We recognize the difference between summer, fall, winter, or spring and associate certain experiences, such as eating ice-cream or going swimming on a hot day as quite normal. Later we build consensus socially because we share these same activities with others and we can pretty much all agree on what things are acceptable to do in the summer vs. the winter. We learn over time from a very young age what the seasons are and over the years what behavior is acceptable during these seasons. We have the ability to discern the difference and live our lives accordingly.
Each person may develop a personal preference for certain seasons and even favor one over another. I think we would find it odd if a person told us that they hate people that prefer winter. Or even more strange that they would pass laws that would give advantage to people that enjoyed summer-time over people that enjoyed winter. I have always found it just as strange to treat people differently because of the color of their skin. We learn to do this just as we learn to put on a jacket when it snows. The differences between people are just as beautiful and necessary as the differences between seasons.
It is only natural for children to wonder about things. Often time as parents we unknowingly pass our personal bias and beliefs. No matter who or where we are, people all over the world desire to live, love, and be free. We are all different, yet we share so much in common. This is what inspired us to write the children´s book “Colorful, different, and the same… like you and me”. It was meant to serve as a starting place for teachers or parents to introduce the concept of oneness to children. Simultaneously it enables them to explore their ability to perceive, discern, and be curiously appreciative of what makes each of us unique.