Be kind and respect each other. It is as simple as that. Skin color, religion, sexual preference, social status, political party affiliation, or anything else that differentiates us from one another, should be overlooked. We are all people. Our insides look the same.

The color of a person’s skin, how much they make annually, what they do in their bedroom, or what diety they pray to, should not be a reason for mocking or dismissing them.

A very wise person (my father) once told me (more like tells me daily), that “you should treat everyone you come in contact with- with respect. You should treat everybody equally and with kindness, no matter if they are young or old, rich or poor, black or white, polite or rude to you- we are all people, all the same. Always be nice.”  

It sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised….

 There has been a lot of media coverage regarding teenagers who got bullied about their sexual preference, to the point that they decided to end their lives. The number of gay teens who have committed suicide is absolutely appalling. This is not okay and should not be happening in this day and age. Someone told me the other day, “Well you know, they are just kids, kids tease all the time. It’s what they do.” UM, no. Playing around is one thing; however saying hurtful things and doing hurtful things, especially over an extended period of time, can emotionally damage a person-much less a child. This is just one of many examples of what can happen when discrimination and hate overcome kindness.

We are all human and it is human nature to sometimes have preconceived notions about people. We all have, at some point of our lives or another, made a hasty judgment about someone. The important thing is to realize that it is not right to judge people just because they are different than you. Just like it is not right to make a decision about someone based solely on what you heard about them from others. When an effort is made to get to know another human being on a personal level, you can finally make your own assessment. Until that happens, no one has the right to make fun of or judge another person. No one knows exactly what is going on in a person's life or what struggles they are facing. We need to be respectful and loving.

"Is it not enough that things are cruel and blind? Must we also be cruel and blind?"

 - Voltairine de Cleyre

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