Tuesday, May 16, 2006


The indiscriminate choices of children provide promise of a hopeful future to forward-thinking and tolerant parents. Kids seem not to have any prejudice at all. They accept what they’re given, work with what they have, and their imaginations fill in all the gaps. One is as good as another in their eyes.
When the world turns out to be different in some aspect from what they’d expected, they quickly adjust their expectations to match reality, rather than tweaking their perception of reality to validate their expectations.
No doubt, regardless of how promising the attitude and tolerance of the child seems to the parent, as they grow, they encounter prejudice in their friends and classmates, unfounded preferences arise, and perhaps hidden feelings in the parents themselves emerge and are voiced by the children.
Whatever the cause, as we grow up, the realities of the world emerge, and divisions become evident where they didn’t seem to matter before. The differences in our own little homes and the larger world become apparent, and familiarity begins to feel like superiority.
It happened last week in my own home from my very own son. He had been working on a homework project at school with some classmates. He emailed a file to himself from his friend’s computer. When he attempted to open the file, his prejudice was manifest in his frustration.