How to Explain Hatred

It’s Martin Luther King Day and with the day off I’ve had time to reflect on what today is for. I’ve also had time to ponder the importance of teaching my youngest about Martin Lither King, Jr. and the history he represents.

How do you explain the civil rights movement to a 4 year old who has no concept of such hatred in the world?

How do you tell her that there was a time (not that long ago) that her uncle, an amazing man who loves his wife with everything he has, would have been beaten for looking admiringly at her aunt?

How do you tell her that some of her friends wouldn’t be allowed to go to her preschool? That she would be expected to hate them based on the color of their skin.

She doesn’t see color, not in the way the world does. She doesn’t categorize the importance of people based on the color of their skin, what they have, or who they love.

She simply loves those who love her.

It breaks my heart to know that she will learn, at some point, that there are people in this world who place greater value on the color of your skin rather than who you are as a person.

It is my responsibility as her mother to equip her for encounters with people who have this mindset.

And so rather than explaining hatred,
I will teach her about love.

Loving others regardless of the color of their skin, what they have or who they love.

Loving others when they are less than loving to you.

Loving others who stand for something you’re against.

Those last two are the tough ones. But if I am to be the kind of mother I feel God wants me to be, I have to be examples of those to her as well.

I want her to stand up for what is right but not hate those who are wrong.

Our children aren’t born hating others; it’s something they’re taught.
Parents, as we raise our children, let’s teach them to love before the world teaches them to hate.

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