January 20, 2019

I grew up during the time of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Riots in Watts and forced bussing in Boston. I saw discrimination as a racial issue only. Today, I realize that discrimination (an act or instance of making a distinction, treatment or consideration based on the group, class, or category to which that person belongs rather than on individual merit) goes beyond just race. We have become very good at labeling people: white/black; male/female; rich/poor; old/young; gay/straight; Christian/Jew; religious/atheist, democrat/republican; liberal/ conservative and this label provides the distinction to discriminate.

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to work in a public school Pre-K classroom for 6 months. What an education I received. The 3 and 4 year olds don’t label. They don’t see color, religion, socioeconomic standards or any of the labels we give to one another. They just want to be friends. They can get hurt by others words or actions but then forgive and move on. Tomorrow is another day and opportunity to be friends. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could look at each other through the eyes of the little children?

So tear off the labels (we are not pillows or mattresses) let’s not label people. We can disagree and still be friends. Like the song says …

                “What the world needs now is love, sweet love it’s the only thing that there's just too little of 
                  what the world needs now is love, sweet love, No, not just forsome but for everyone.” 
                                                                                           Jackie DeShannon

(Sorry now you will be humming it all week long)

 

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