Yes, it’s that simple.
January 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
I work at a nursery school with a dozen four-year-olds. I’m biased but I think I have the best class in the whole school. They’re super sweet and well behaved and they try really hard to learn everything. And, really, the cutest thing you ever heard is a bunch of four-year-olds saying the pledge of allegiance when they get to “indivisible.”
On Friday we did a lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. To open this, my classroom teacher (I’m her aide) started by explaining that a long time ago (to a four-year-old) people couldn’t do things because of how they looked; other people didn’t let them. She said, “Would it be right if we all wanted to go in the store but only the two kids with blond hair were allowed inside and the rest of us had to wait outside? Or everyone with blue eyes had to wait, or brown skin?” and the kids chorused, “No, that’s mean.” They said it wouldn’t be fair. And the teacher explained that that was what had happened to Martin Luther King, Jr., and then asked, “Why isn’t it fair?” The kids were quiet for a minute and then one little girl said, “He’s human.”
I got a chill. (I’m choked up just remembering it.) Grown-ups like to think that because we’re grown-ups, things are complicated; we can see the complexity of an issue or all sides of an argument. But you know what? For every complex issue we think we’re facing, there’s a heart of the matter, a core truth, and sometimes it takes a four-year-old to cut through the BS. Just because we can see all sides of an argument doesn’t mean there isn’t a correct answer.
Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t live “a long time ago.” And there is still a long way to go. The world may never be fair, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
― Martin Luther King Jr