A simple rule

John - Delmar, Maryland
Entered on March 30, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: race, tolerance
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This I believe…

“There are people in the world who’s skin is a different color than your’s and, because of that, some people will treat them badly. That is wrong.”

When I was 8 years old, in 1959, my mother said those words to me. We were preparing to move as a family from our home in Salisbury on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Washington DC. We were leaving a world that, though I didn’t realize it, was all white. I didn’t know that I lived in a very segregated world, attending segregated schools, living in a white only neighborhood. It was the only one I had any real recollection of to that point.

When we got to Washington, there were indeed people of different colors. And, sometimes others treated them badly just because they were different. I didn’t understand why. My mother told me that was wrong, hadn’t their’s?

It was only as we established our lives in Washington, as the 60’s took hold, as I grew in my life, expanding my horizons and perspectives that I came to understand the simple importance of my mother’s words. It was accepted as a simple fact. The fact a child takes as true, with out question or need of explanation, because my mother said it was so. It has been a guiding imperative of my life.

Today, there is the real possibility that we as a Nation may elect a person as President who is a different color or is different sex than me. I hope that who ever people vote for, it is for whoever they truly believe in. The person who represents the values and goals that most closely match their own. It is my sincere hope that we, as a people have come to understand that there are people in this world that are a different color or sex than we are and some people will treat them badly, because they are different. That is wrong.

This is what I believe.