Talking Prejudice Over Play Dough

On its very best day, PREJUDICE is an ugly little beast cloaked in a false sense of superiority and righteous indignation. At its very worst it’s a foul, corrosive, and far too often volatile cancer to civilization.

We aren’t born with it. We weren’t meant for it. It is programmed into us, sometimes intentionally and sometimes by virtue of being exposed to it just enough that we adopt it as our own misguided worldview.

Recent hate crimes remind me of the importance of addressing the topic of prejudice head on with my children, even as I shield them from the horrific news headlines.

If our kids are not crystal clear on our stance as parents and guardians, where will their impressions on human differences be developed? And by whom? How will they know how to respond in the face of hatred and injustice?

So, today we made homemade play dough. We used food coloring to create different colored batches, and the kids set to work on making colorful bowls, flowers and figurines with each batch.

As we played I pointed out that no matter what the color, no matter what the size, no matter how we mixed them, no matter what we created with them, in the end all of the dough was still made of the same stuff.

It all shared common ingredients, it was all formed for the purpose of manifestation, and it would all endure its own unique experiences of being pushed, molded and reworked into original and imaginative works of expression. It was separate, yet one. And so it is with us.

By witnessing it at its ugliest, may we be reminded that prejudice is a path that leads only to destruction…first to he who harbors it, he whose humanity begins to dissolve with its suffocatingly intolerant grip.

The truth is that hatred expressed for another is hatred systemically administered to one’s self. As I reminded the kids, no matter what our illusions, we can not be separated from receiving that which we offer up to the world and those who share it with us. So, if I teach them nothing else, I want my young people to learn to stand in their values, and always lean into love.

Heartfelt prayers to those in Orlando and around the globe who are experiencing loss at the hands of those overtaken by hatred and ignorance. May the God of LOVE permeate the hearts and minds of our planet, especially those of the rising generation. God bless us all.

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