Close Encounters of the Childs Kind and Other Odd Ramblings

Posted: February 20, 2012 in philosophy, photos, story, think about it, Uncategorized
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I work as a nanny for three amazing kids and everyday they surprise me. Always so curious asking tons of questions a day What are clouds made of? Why do people kiss on the lips? What happens when you die? They have this ability to believe anything I tell them (another reason why I love kids so much). I feel I was sometimes misinformed as a child so I always try to give them the most honest and true answers to their questions. Clouds are made of water, people kiss when they love each other, no one really knows what happens when you die.

This brings me to the topic of my blog today. One day while I was at work I noticed the kids calling others kids of darker skin as black or brown. This disturbed me as I had never referred to people of darker skin tone as a color (certainly not in front of them). It didn’t feel right to me to let them continue on using these terms so I said “Kids you don’t call people black or brown. Does anyone call you white? No. People are not colors they are simply people. We are all different shades some people are lighter shades others are darker.” They were about three at the time and that simple statement kiboshed their use of those words to describe people. The best part was seeing them go out into the world and spew this information to people young and old so proud of this new information they had learned. “Did you know people aren’t colors? They are shades? I’m a lighter shade!” (so cute, and the looks they get from people, priceless!).

Since then I have used this tactic to instill understanding and compassion for many other things such as homosexuality, adoption, poverty, amputations/physical differences/paralysis. These kids understand that you can love whoever you want, that some kids have many parents some have none, that we all are a little different but we are also all a little bit the same. They don’t seem to hold it against people their lifestyle choices or aesthetics. If you play with them and make them laugh, they will love you! I find it fascinating that such young children could understand and accept such concepts that most adults can’t or choose not to understand.

Let me make it clear, I am not trying to suggest I changed these kids lives or that I am Miss-Judgement Free 2012. I only wish that when I was a young I had someone to stop my stereotypes before I had time to develop them. Instead I work hard to break through a little bit of my judgements and generalizations everyday, that I feel, the society I grew up in conditioned. However the more I break through the easier it gets.

Children are our future. Ellen Degeneres was right when she suggested that Compassion should be a subject in school. Children are like sponges soaking of every last bit of information available. Why don’t we make the available information be ones of compassion, love, acceptance, and peace? Everyday I lose hope in humanity, it sometimes seems that people will never get it. We have 7 billion people each living in their own realities, how do you get them all to live as one? Is that even possible? Should I even care? I don’t know (as usual). All I do know is that when I see kids spreading words of support, empathy, happiness and helpfulness I gain back the little hope I had lost. Children are our hope.

Side note: Miss Judgement-Free 2012 intrigues me. Maybe a contest is in order?!………

  1. Liza Vassallo says:

    It is people like you that make this world a brighter place for children.

  2. What a wonderful outlook on life. And at the very least, you are teaching your wards a gentler viewpoint that they might not know were you not there.

  3. Thank you both for your kind words of support!

  4. Hahaha! Hi Miss-Judgement Free! I love it! In fact do not put a date on it because my sense is that it is not going to get old, but rather, keep you young and high-spirited!

    If I might add to your beautifully written thoughts: I believe that my experience with children is that they seem to tune in more to what is in one’s heart than what one actually says. If we are afraid of the world, guess what? If we want to conquer the day, guess what? In a sense, by choosing as you do, to let go of concern for results (aka judgement-free) we really begin to open doors to our own hearts…a fact that children can and will gravitate towards, even maybe some adults…

    Great thoughts! I enjoy reading your posts!

  5. André says:

    You’re a touching good person!

  6. jjhiii24 says:

    I’ve been catching up on your blog and I was delighted to read these thoughts and to know that they came from a bright young woman who cares for children. How fortunate they are to have a caretaker with such compassion and the intelligence to respond to their questions with such grace.

    I am currently one of the main caretakers for my three year old granddaughter, and she is just beginning to see the world and to ask some of these questions. I found myself kind of wishing I could invite you over to spend some time with her. I love her with all my heart and love spending time with her, and I try to be as honest and open as you can be with a young toddler, and it’s really great to know that someone so young like you can be so wise. It makes me optimistic!

    Warm regards….John H.

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