Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Peace is this way," said one kid to another...

"Mom, my friend told me something today that he hasn't told very many people."

"Do you want to share it with me?"

"He told me he's a Muslim. He said that he doesn't tell people because some kids at school say Muslims are terrorists and they tell mean jokes. Mom, I've heard some kids make fun of people with different beliefs."

"That's really sad. But how nice that he trusts you and knows you're not like that."

"Yeah. He also told me he's not a terrorist."

"I'm sure he's not."

"He told me that the terrorists who say they're Muslim are impostors and that Muslims are peaceful. Why do so many people think all Muslims are bad?"

You guys, initially I wanted to say some nasty things about people who tell racist jokes or blatantly judge an entire religious or ethnic group, but at the same time, I didn't want to be like them, putting negative generalizations out into this fractured world. So instead, I kept things simple and direct.

"Son, sometimes people are afraid of what they don't understand. And sometimes it's easier to believe what your friends say or what you see on Instagram than it is to seek out the TRUTH. And that's probably what's happened with the kids at school who aren't being nice. But do you know what our only job in this life is?"

"To be nice to everyone?"

"It's to LOVE others. ALL others. And that includes our friends as well as the ones who are scared and confused. Even when it's hard. So make sure to thank your friend for sharing his truth with you. Because that's a gift."

Friends, we are inundated with negative, finger-pointing, mud-slinging, ugliness all over the interwebs and in the news, and SO ARE OUR KIDS! Most of us have the maturity and sensitivity to filter the hate out but that's not so easy for kids. They're seeing grown-ups behave badly, hearing political rants, witnessing nasty memes, and many of them are believing that crap as TRUTH!

PLEASE...pay attention to what your kids are ingesting through six-second Vines and 140-character Tweets and every other social media platform they have access too. TALK to them about what they're hearing at school. And think about what messages you're putting into the world. We have to be the truth-tellers and love-spreaders and the hate-diffusers. That's our most important job.

Love to all!

{J}

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