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Out of the mouths of babes

Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely
Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely

Twice now in the last month I have encountered wonderful stories of the innocence of children which could teach valuable lessons to us adults.

The first story involved a pair of pre-kindergarten boys in Louisville, Kentucky. It was time for one of them to get a haircut, so they conspired that he would get his haircut just like his friend and they would pretend to be each other, thus fooling their teacher.
The only problem with their plan was that one of the boys was Caucasian while the other was African-American.
Recognizing the wonderful teachable moment, their teacher played along for the day and the two boys and their classmates had an important lesson on acceptance and equality.
The second incident, which I read about last week, involved a little girl who was being potty-trained. Having successfully used the potty for a full month, her mother took her to the toy store to pick out her reward. She immediately picked up an African-American doll dressed in scrubs.
At the checkout counter, the clerk admired the doll and asked the little girl if it was a present for a friend? The little girl, by the way, was Caucasian.
The girl and her mother explained that the doll was a reward and was for the little girl herself. The clerk then suggested that the store had many other dolls which “look more like you.”
The girl's mother was about to speak up about the inappropriateness of the clerk's comments when the girl herself spoke out.
“I know” the girl said, “But this one is a doctor and I'm going to be a doctor. This one is a pretty girl and I am a pretty girl. See her pretty hair. I have pretty hair too.”
What wonderful teaching moments for all of us adults.

Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister and past president of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce.


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