Have you ever been in a building where everything was gray; the walls, the floor, the trim? How did you feel as you walked into that place?
Those who are aware of their feelings are likely to find they felt less positive, are somewhat fearful, maybe weak.
Imagine a place that is all blue or all red or whatever color. Become aware as you imagine it how you feel physically and emotionally. Then imagine a place with a variety of well placed colors. See what you feel like now.
It is likely that the last was the most comfortable, where you felt happy, energized. That is likely. But if someone had grown used to only living with one color, any addition might seem wrong, uncomfortable, until that person got used to the difference. If they refuse to look at the new color or colors, they will never accept them.
We can relate that to the way we deal with people who are different from those we have known. A child learns something of differences in the family, especially if s/he has brothers and sisters. But they are family with a certain similarity. In beginnings of school and neighborhood relationships, other differences in people are noticed. In the on-going process of learning these may be accepted as a finding out what this world is likeÃ¯Â¿Â½unless something else intervenes to cause the child to label this difference as bad, as something to be looked down on, avoid or destroyed. Adult remarks and actions often do this latter.
We know there are a multitude of characteristics that consciously or unconsciously are labeled negatively at times. To name a few of these distinctionsÃ¯Â¿Â½it might be; age, ability, nationality, race, religion, dress, shyness, etc.
The kind of conversations we talked about last week will be occasions to talk about the benefit of variety. It is a way to head off negative ways of responding to differences. Discussion can take place as to what each child can do at their age level to stop name calling, shunning, mean teasing whenever they see it. That talking about will include reflecting on what happened, how the child or adult felt when they did act. If the incident happened within the family, the discussion can be carried on even further. Both sides will be able to give their thoughts and feelings. Forgiveness can be actively sought, given and received by each.
Parents need to warn their children of dangers re. strangers. But this can be done in such a way that the child can distinguish and trust other people.
Are you and your family enjoying a multicolored world of people?