Teaching Acceptance


I have watched last week's Glee episode no less than five times. It just gets to me.

One Sunday afternoon, I took BG to our town's Christmas parade. We managed to find a spot right at the front of the sidewalk in front of this really nice older couple and their two young boys.  At one point, a young dance troupe went by made up of a few girls and one boy. I heard the boys snickering at this boy, but it was what happened next that floored me.

A conversation ensued about this young dancer and at one point, I heard the older gentleman say to one of the boys, "Oh, we'll always be proud of you - unless you become a dancer."

My jaw hit the sidewalk.

But it gets worse. A certain group of people walked by in the parade and the man flat out told the boys not to wave at them.

Do what!??

There are certain things that I think are right and wrong, but it is NEVER my place to judge people. It is my commandment as a Christian to LOVE them. I plan on raising my child with my beliefs. I want her to know as a child of God that there are ways she is to live her life. That as His child, she is not to pass judgment, she is to be kind.

Toddler Love
Image: Corey Ann via Flickr

I would be lying if I told you that secretly I don't hope for BG to be a soccer player. For her to be an outgoing child that loves music and people and school. But if she's a quiet child that hates sports (horrors!), well I will still love her and be beyond proud of her. That is my job as her parent.

It terrifies me that in a day and age where nine-year olds are committing suicide, that we as parents are not doing more at home to teach acceptance. That we aren't doing more to teach them to love one another. That this kind of pure hatred is still being tolerated. That we aren't teaching our children that is absolutely unacceptable to be just plain mean.

I get that there will be teasing. I get that. But if we as parents aren't drawing a line, then do we have any right to be upset about some of the headlines coming out of our childrens' schools?

My prayer is that the love of Christ will shine through my daughter. That she will be like Finn in this week's Glee episode and genuinely care enough about another person that she will fight for them even when they don't know they need fighting for. That she'll stand up for them when everyone else is turning their back. That she will love them, even if they are different from her.

That couple we were in front of? Very, very nice. They went out of their way to help BG get some candy and even helped point out Santa to her. They were not bad people. If I were to make a snap judgment based on the two things I heard, I would have missed the good in them. And there WAS good. But isn't that exactly what they're doing by labeling that dancer? Or that group of people? Missing their good?

What gives me hope is that it is now my generation raising the kids. And I pray that we are teaching our kids that it is not okay to treat people badly. BG is so good right now. It is mine and her father's duty to foster that and make her a beautiful person on the inside.

The world desperately needs more of those.





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