As we continue to explore the virtue of Acceptance, let's recap the lesson from The Good Eggs: "When we accept others, together we can make great things happen."
Virtue in Action
How can we model this? Spend some time watching television shows and commercials, reading billboards, listening to the radio, and walking through a mall. Ask yourself how women (and other marginalized groups) are accepted in our world through advertisements that you observe.
We have become accustomed to “accepting” women in particular roles in our world. Yes, many have moved beyond some old adages about women, but we have not yet removed the destructive idea of women’s objectification – it’s all around us. Be aware and pick out the stereotypes and roles placed upon marginalized groups – they’re right in front of us every day.
Positivity and the Power to Change
One of the best ways to model acceptance is by talking about it with our children. The forces against “real” acceptance are mighty, but not unstoppable. We have the power to change the lens through which our children see the world. We have the power to influence our children away from the negative stereotypes.
The positive side of acceptance can have the power to change the trajectory of what has come to be seen as the norm. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our daughters and sons become the generation to reverse the sexism, racism, ageism and any other destructive “ism” of society? Wow.
Eye Opening Lists!
The best way to reverse anything that is an ill in society is to talk about it. Make a list with your kids – have them list stereotypical words or thoughts about women and other marginalized groups. Talk about stereotypes such as men are strong and women are sensitive. Then make a list all of the amazing strong women, maybe athletes or women who have endured hardships, and then list men who are sensitive, compassionate and caring. These could be famous people or just people in their lives.
No Limits Allowed
Make sure they know that when we assign stereotypes or roles to specific people, it can create a culture of limitation for that group. It’s important to allow all people to use their talents to better the world, and not to box people into stereotypes. Making these lists will open their eyes to that.
Today's children are our future. Remember what Reggie told Benedict, “If we accept all people, together we can make great things happen.”
Next month we will explore the virtue of respect as it applies to the Earth. See you in April!