Don’t listen to what they say.
The news media, and political parties, often like to depict certain classes, races, cultures, and religions in a negative light.
Especially when it suits their goals and agendas.
They like to discredit people who have different views than them.
They attempt to convince us that “those people” aren’t worth our time or attention.
They group the bad apples with the good apples because “if they look alike, they must act alike.”
They use clickbait tactics, which often misrepresents and distorts the truth, not caring about the divide it creates.
Recently we stayed in a tropical melting pot, a place where families from many countries, cultures, and backgrounds come to eat, play, and relax.
Related: 5 Ways to Raise a Cultured Kid
Each day, my family would play beach volleyball with men and women from a variety of countries.
Middle-aged men and women from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Canada.
Millennials from France, Spain, and the Dominican Republic.
Even a fierce elderly couple from Chile.
As we hit the ball back and forth over the net, we worked together in teams.
We celebrated wins and strategized over losses.
We had fun!
When the time neared dinner, we all took the time to talk with one another.
We learned about each other’s families, our jobs, and even attempted to learn words from one another’s language.
And, yes we even laughed over politics.
As I ponder on these experiences, I think of how many people are relying solely on the media to form their opinions vs. real-life encounters.
We must remember not to rely on media as our sole source of information, organizations whose algorithms are often set up in a way to connect only those who are similar to them.
You cannot traverse the socioeconomic, geographic, and racial lines through your TV set, cell phone, or radio.
Related: Teaching Young Children to Respect & Accept Diversity
You learn by first-hand experience and encountering each other in real life, through built friendships, mutual respect, and greater understanding.
We can read all the stories, watch all the newscasts, and hear the conflicting opinions from here to Timbuktu, but we will never have a complete picture until we are interacting with that very person, place, or thing.
“Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”
This same concept can be applied to what you hear about other moms in your social circle, play groups, or day to day lives.
Mama, don’t always listen to what “they say.”
We are doing ourselves, others, and the world a disservice by doing so.
Go, and figure it out for yourself.
And, teach your children to do the same.
You may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.