This I Believe

Desiree - Palm Desert, California
Entered on June 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

From the moment a child opens their eyes they are surrounded by color. To them they are just pigments, variations of greens that make the grass, blues that make the sky, and yellows that make the sun. Their colors have no meaning, there is no judgment based on what they see, no contempt because there are variations among them. Sometimes I think that we, as humanity, would be better off if we could see colors of people like small children, just for what they are, with no preconceptions.

I was once told a story about a three year-old boy whose mother was reading him a bedtime story. On the third page of the book there was a picture of two men jumping for a ball in a basketball game, one man was an African-American in a purple shirt, the other a Caucasian man in a green shirt. After looking at the page for a short while the boy turned to his mother and said “That boy can jump high!” His mother stroked his head and asked him “Which one, honey?” and the small boy responded without a second glance down at the page, “The one in the purple shirt.” There was no inflection in his voice, no skin color mentioned, it was almost as if he had not noticed this small detail. This brought tears to the mother’s eyes; this, in her son, was an example of the ultimate innocence. Her son’s mind had not yet been corrupted by society’s stereotypes or led to believe the color of your skin makes you better or worse than any other person.

All of human kind was born with this innocence and taught throughout the years to give meaning to color. Children are the only true providers of justice and equality, the only ones who listen before they critique. If actions speak louder than words, children make the wisest moves of all. The world would be a better place if we could all have the racial outlook of a three year-old.

Imagine what the world would be like if when people heard the word black, they thought of the night sky, when they heard the word brown, squishy mud was what popped into their minds. What if yellow was the color of a rubber duck, and red was only for fire engines and apples? Are people different colors? Yes. Does it mean any more to be a person that is black, white, red, purple, brown, silver than it does to be an apple that is red? It shouldn’t.

Usually we want to learn from those with experience, and usually that is a good thing. But with issues like race wouldn’t you want to learn from someone that thinks colors are what come in a box with Crayola on the front? Racial equality is on minds of everyone, except those who have already solved the problem, our kids. If we want to rid society of this problem, maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about being ‘colorblind’, but worry more about being ‘colorfull’.