Little children are painfully honest, but that’s not always a bad thing.
Holland is a little girl who loves spending time at her favorite place, the Waffle House in Fort Myers. In fact, her mother Mary Katherine started taking her there when Holland was just a baby, so all the employees know her and love her. One of them, Mrs. Cynthia, who brings the little girl raisin bread and apple juice the moment she sees her walking at the store, has become a family over the years.
One day, as Mrs. Cynthia was serving them, Holland said something that left Mary Katherine speechless. The little girl uttered a question which made her mother very nervous, but Mrs. Cynthia knew just the right answer. “Mrs. Cynthia, I want to have dark skin like you. Why is your skin so dark?” the girl asked. What Mrs. Cynthia responded seemed simple, but her words carried a lot of wisdom. “Because God made everyone different! Isn’t that wonderful?”
Holland nodded in agreement, but she seemed to have some more questions in mind. “But, Mrs. Cynthia — if I had your skin, we could both dress up like Tiana!” Holland said. Mrs. Cynthia smiled and told her that she can dress as Tiana, the Disney princess, whenever she wishes.
Mary Katherine felt relieved. Both she and her girl learned a valuable lesson that day and Mary Katherine, who is an author, decided to share it with the rest of us. This is what she wrote: “My three-year-old daughter sees the difference between a black woman and a white woman. Human beings aren’t born oblivious to our differences. And honestly, in so many ways, pretending these differences don’t exist is an insult. What we must do—intentionally—is teach our children to see and APPRECIATE the things that make God’s people so unique. Whether that be their race, nationality, or religious beliefs… We need to talk about these things. Because, spoiler alert: our kids ALREADY see them.”
She concluded her Love What Matters post adding: “…fear is a liar. And silence is a terrible teacher. Thank God for the wisdom and grace of Mrs. Cynthia. Moving forward, I won’t stop my children from asking questions about the world around them. I won’t shush them into silence and teach them that ‘difference’ is a dangerous or taboo topic. Instead, I will tell them this simple, honest-to-goodness truth, straight from the mouth of our dear friend, Mrs. Cynthia: ‘God made everybody different. And isn’t that wonderful?’”
We know that Holland will grow up knowing how to embrace differences, something we should all learn to do if we want to make this world a better place.