Dear Noah and Gracelyn,
Do you remember the story of Dumbo? Dumbo was different, but that is what made him special. You will meet many “Dumbos” in your life, and here are 2 lessons that I want to make sure you learn. In fact, these are 2 things that I am still learning as well.
- Be kind to others. People come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and have all kinds of abilities and challenges. It is my hope and prayer that you will be kind to those who are different than you. God made each person unique, and it is a beautiful thing to recognize and appreciate each other’s differences. People might look different or believe different things than you and have different opinions, but you should always treat them with kindness.
- When others are not kind to you, don’t let it devastate you. This is not an easy lesson to learn, but reality tell us that all people do not always practice the lesson mentioned in number 1. I am sure other kids will make fun of you at some point, and there were times that I was made fun of as a kid, too. If you don’t know how to deal with unkind words or actions, then it will be a rough road for you. Learn how to fly, like Dumbo did. Be confident in who God made you and in what he did for you, and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
I love you both and don’t ever want to see you hurt or to see you hurt others. It will happen, though, and when it does, remember we have a God who loves and forgives us, therefore we should love and forgive others.
In a world where fat-shaming and racism are social issues and bullying can have fatal effects, having a healthy view of one’s self and having healthy interactions with others are important lessons to teach kids. There are barriers to kids learning these basic lessons, though. Children see how their parents are treating others and how they are responding to heated situations. Not only that, we are not born good people. There is a reason we have to teach our toddlers to share and not to hit or bite. We have selfishness in us from birth.
There is a solution, though. I know that not all my readers believe the same things I do, but we can still be kind to each other, right? As I said earlier, we are not born good people. We can try to be good and do good things, but no one is perfect. That is why Jesus is a pretty big deal to those who recognize they have failed at being good. He is the ultimate definition of good; he has lived the perfect life that we couldn’t live, which is exactly what we need to be in relationship with a perfect God. It was through his kindness that he let us take credit for the perfect life of Jesus when we believe in him. It was through his kindness, grace, and love that he offered us a solution. And it is through our kindness, grace, and love towards others that they can see Jesus in us.