An open letter to grown-ups
“It is only out of ignorance people are cruel, because they dont think it will come back.”- Maya Angelou
I’ve never understood why people are cruel to each other. We’ve all done it at some point in our lives, intentionally or not. Undoubtebly you have felt sorry for it, right? I’d like to think we all just nodded our heads in agreement, but that’s just not realistic.
I am the most naive person, for most of my life I grew up assuming. Assuming that when we watched “Old Yeller” we all cried when he raised that shot gun. Assuming that we all viewed love and marriage the same — “for better or for worse.” Assuming that people dont intentionally hurt one another. I could go on forever with these idealistic assumptions.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this sort of utopia existed? In hindsight, having different emotions, personality, and beliefs is what makes you unique. Acceptance of others’ differences can be difficult, even for the kindest of people. But even more difficult is being kind to each other despite our differences. If such a feat were easy, historical events such as the Suffrage and the Civil Rights Reform Movements need not have taken place.
I’m sure most of us were raised in a home or school that recited “The Golden Rule” regularly.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
When you’re in kindergarten this concept seems to work. When the kid next to you keeps kicking you and the teacher catches you kicking him back, you’re both asked to recite the golden rule before apologizing to one another and hugging. Suddenly you’re best friends (I’m sure this isn’t always the case, but at least you made up). Where is that teacher’s voice in the back of our heads in our daily adult lives? Where is that childlike heart?
Striving for a world free from pain is unrealistic. Striving for a world full of adults with childlike hearts shouldn’t be. When did growing up mean becoming cold, unimaginative, unhappy, and churlish? When did not agreeing or being different mean being cruel?
“An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.” -Mahatma Gandhi
If theres no teacher’s voice in your head, no inner child that makes you want to hug someone you see in pain, I urge you to find it.
“All grown ups were once children, but only few of them remember it” -The Little Prince
Take the time to care what will effect others and you have become part of the solution.
The great Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said:
“Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself.”