News sources have been firing on all cylinders lately with the latest affronts to human dignity. The whole Donald Sterling scandal has reawakened many people to the reality of racism and its consequences both for the victims and the perpetrators. From a generational standpoint, I would like to think that most of us are past all of this mess and we can get down to really respecting one another and creating a society that loves and cares for its members with selfless abandon.
And, yet, as human beings, we seem to be adding more classes and categories to racism. We now have the word fatist; sexist has always been a word but now carries more meaning; and kids and adults with mental disorders are treated often times with derision and apprehension.
With all of these things flying around in the media, it gives you, as a parent, a wonderful opportunity to discuss how your child should treat others. As Christian parents, you have a bigger chance to discuss how treating others well is following Jesus’ example. Consider Jesus’ meetings with the Samaritan woman, the woman accused of adultery, the tax collectors Matthew and Zaccheus, the leprous man, and all those with spirits and other illnesses. Jesus treated each one of them with respect, as a person. From the examples set in the Gospel accounts, Jesus never sees just a problem to be fixed. Jesus sees a person, broken and in need of help, to love on and make a priority.
As parents, volunteers, and educators, we have a choice to let prejudice and judgment box our kids in or to open up the doors and allow love to break down barriers.