In one-week fear rose in our country. We heard it in the adult voices on TV, radio and in the print lining newspapers. But did you realize that fear grew in our children too? Sometimes as adults we forget that they are watching and soaking up everything around them. As Haim Ginott said, “Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.” And the images from Charlottesville made a huge impression. This week young children of color asked me, “Are they going to hurt me too?” “Is it safe?” “Why do they hate me?” Children who already had some dislike for minorities stated more boldly their dislike of them. Caucasian children shielded from overt racism expressed confusion. “Why do those people hate black people?” “What’s wrong with black people?”
The future of our country resides in the hearts of our children. Be careful with your words for they hold immense power. There are no neutral words. We shape our beliefs with each thought we think and say, and those thoughts become the bedrock of our future. Be careful with your actions because they carry enormous weight. Little eyes are watching and from you they are learning how to be in this world.