June 08, 2007

Which Skin Does She Have?

It's an amazing thing to be a parent. God grows you so many ways and gives you so many insights you wouldn't have otherwise.

We're sitting in a restaraunt the other night, and my son and my wife are talking about a girl a few tables over. My wife is unsure of which one Trey is talking about. Jenni uses the name she knows best. There are girls who are white and girls who are Asian at the table in question. And then my son asks this question: "Which Skin Does She Have?"

Now that may not provoke many deep thoughts in you, but it sure did in me. You see, he is 7, and he doesn't have the slightest inclination that race / ethnicity should make any sort of difference in our relationships with others. He asked a question which got me to thinking and my analysis is this:

To him, skin is just a covering. It doesn't define who that little girl was, who that little girl is, or who that little girl can be. It was just a covering. A way to help him identify which girl my wife was talking about.

I think that's probably the healthiest outlook you could ever have when it comes to diversity. A soul is a soul. People are people. Environments are environments. The color of our covering does not define who we are. It is merely a descriptor. It is merely an additional tool to help explain us to someone. Who is Marc? He's 6'4", 300 pounds, white, brown hair, blue eyes, and EXTREMELY good looking. That's the outside description.

Who Is Marc? (The Inside Description) It would take volumes and more whitespace that I have here to accomplish that. But I guarantee you, the pigment of my skin would never grace the description of who I am at my core. We need to learn to see others and different cultures in the way my 7 year old son saw them. Which skin do they have? You could change the skin, but never change the person.

You're exactly right my son. You're exactly right!

EXTRA: For Further Reading About Talking To Your Kids About Race - See This Article By Thabiti

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