I grew up amongst diversity.  The church ans schools I attended always had people from different backgrounds, different parts of the city and different colors of skin.  I remember learning about racism and thinking it was a relic of the past when I was a child in my simplistic thinking.  I remember learning when I was older that my schools were only mixed because of busing, and then noticing that the neighborhoods around town weren’t. The church I went to was comprised of people from the neighborhood and those that drove in from other parts of town.  All of these are examples of our fumbling imperfectly towards accepting others, learning how to love them and opening our hearts a little more.  We know what is right and yet we struggle as we move towards that.

As a parent I have some serious questions about how to talk to children about these racial issues.  I don’t want to overwhelm them and yet I want them to understand the importance of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s message.  I long to know their perspective and hear their dreams, but I know that is for another day.

The school my son attends does have racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity.  I am not sure he is aware of this.  I guess right now I want him to know that all the people in all his communities are there for him to take care of whether they be older or younger, shorter or taller, lighter or darker.  I want him to know that everyone has better moments than others.  We all make mistakes, but that most of us care to do it better tomorrow.  I want him to know that in the end how we love each is all that really matters.  Not which movies you have seen, or what toys on your shelf or whether or not you can eat sugar.  I want him to know that family, friendship and community are the heartbeat of our lives and a good hug can make for a better day.

What are your hopes for your children as you celebrate MLK?


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