Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Lola came home a few days ago from school and said that one of her classmates called her a monkey, and yet another one said she looks like a gerbil.
She explained that she reciprocated by telling the monkey-calling classmate that she was not a monkey, and that HE was a monkey, and he took offense. Well, GEE, so did she! I guess the sensitive factor here is that the child who called her a monkey is African-American, and he was extremely offended by her lack of hesitation in calling him a monkey. The ironic thing here is that he thought nothing of calling her one. I guess no matter how you try to raise your children to consider everyone a potential friend, no matter what their differences are, it sometimes is not as successful as hoped. Lola is well aware that I respect all people for who they are, regardless of what color, religion, political affiliation (had to include that one in light of the recent presidential campaign shenanigans) or gender. All I can do is hope she will show that same respect to people she may encounter who are different from her.
The whole day-to-day issues that young children face is all beginning to come back to me - - it’s almost as if I’m re-living my days in elementary school and how some children can be so clueless about hurting others’ feelings. I’m certain I was a guilty party at times back then, but sometimes it was necessary to have a defense mechanism more than anything else - - but thankfully as I grew I have been able to see the error of my ways.
In thinking about this further, there is much more out there now for children to deal with in the schools. Society, in this respect, has done more regressing that progressing…I had always said I would be scared to death to raise a child in this world the way it is now, and here I am, a little scared, but yet quite hopeful. Strange how that happened!
Anyway, one of her other classmates has made the determination that Lola looks like a gerbil. I told her in my opinion, gerbils are VERY cute, so she can decide how she wants to take that comment. I, personally, would consider it a compliment and leave it at that. She’s still trying to decide…