So you are all pretty sick of hearing about Fiji right? When I tried to think of something else to write about this week, I thought about a conversation I had when I was there.
When we were all busy getting deep and shit, I had a conversation about explaining racism to my children.
How do you explain bigotry and racism to children? You don't. You educate them about differences and let them know that there are just some people that don't understand about differences.
Children spend a beautiful amount of time unable to see the differences in people; it is a magical and resplendent thing. I remember being so mad when the world around them, outside influences and admittedly, their natural curiosity began to ruin that.
Inevitably though, there would come a time when, for whatever reason I have had to explain the concept of differences to my children.
I explained this with a story of how the world’s differences were explained to me when I was a kid, because stories are a great way of explaining things to little kids. Also, stories. It’s the only way I know how to do things.
Imagine the world was a very large mother dog. (Yes the world is quite figuratively, a b*tch).
That mother dog has a large litter of twelve puppies. The puppies were a mix of all different breeds and were a rainbow of colours.
Two of the puppies were brown, two were black. Next there were two white puppies, then came two spotted puppies, two golden puppies and finally two striped puppies.
The mother dog loved all of her puppies, they all belonged to her.
The mother dog didn’t love the brown puppies any more than she loved spotted puppies, she didn’t love the striped puppies any better than the golden puppies, they were all loved because they were all her puppies.
One day, someone said to the mother dog, please be careful of the two spotted puppies, they are known to be a dangerous breed, you have to be wary of them.
Someone else said don’t worry too much about feeding the golden puppies, one is deaf and one is blind and they won’t be worth as much so don’t waste too much time on them. Give their milk instead to the two striped puppies, they are more beautiful than the rest of the puppies they deserve the most milk and love because they are worth more.
The mother dog looked at her puppies; her love for her puppies was equal. She created the different breeds and the different colours. They were all her puppies, and she loved them all the same.
The mother dog knew that the spotted puppies were not dangerous because of their breed. There was no need to be wary of them.
She knew that her puppy that could not hear could see things so much better than all the other puppies, that one day it would see things that others couldn’t.
The mother dog knew that her puppy that could not see would one day make the most beautiful music, and everyone would dance because it could hear things that the other puppies couldn’t.
She also knew that the striped puppies were not any more beautiful or entitled to more milk or love because they were striped, because all of her puppies came from the same place and she created them all.
So the mother dog turned away from the people that said these things to her and she went on with loving all of her puppies.
When the time came for the puppies to leave their mother, she knew that what would become of her puppies would have everything to do with the homes that they went to. The way they were treated and the experiences they would have, and nothing to do with what shape, colour or breed they were. The mother dog knew that each puppy would be taught to believe in different things, and would have different life experiences.
The world is made up of one huge litter of beautiful and different coloured people that have different shapes, breeds, beliefs and abilities.
No one has any control what colour or difference you are born with, but you can control the way you treat the all of the people when they leave their mother.
You can help shape the experience of everyone you meet with the way you treat them, and the way someone is treated is the only thing that makes us different.
So always be kind.
Not really that hard is it?