We talked about prejudice and hatred, along with the education of our children. On the subject of prejudice; I am. I think we all are truthfully.
Though race lines are not an issue for me I think we all have preconceived notions about other people on some level. Though it may not be of the racial variety of prejudice, we may view people that are obese with less regard than those who are slim, or intelligent people may be held in higher esteem than those we regard as ignorant. Perhaps your preconceived ideas influence how you view the wealthy, the unattractive, the powerful, the aged or the disabled.
I told this friend I didn't think we would ever live in a world that is color-blind or without hatred. Personally I strive for that in my own life. God doesn't look on the outside but looks on the heart. As I endeavor to be an imitator of Christ I must learn to do that as much as humanly possible. It seems to me the root of predudice is arrogance more than ignorance. Why is it we feel the need to be "better than" on some level?
Didin't Jesus take last place in everything? He knew preudice intimately. He wore the title of bastard and was hated from day one. Scripture doesn't say much about this man we call Messiah as a little guy but that was a horrible label for a small boy to wear! We also know from the word he understood well the pain of being on the recieving end of predudice. We are told he was aquainted with grief, he was an ugly man, he was a man of sorrows, he was despised and rejected.
Jeremiah 17:1 reminds us that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I have my own heart issues to deal with. I have my own desperately wicked heart to contend with and at times that fact makes it hard to see past the end of my own proboscis.
My friend and I discussed among other things whether public school policies help educate children in the area of relating to others in overcoming prejudices born of ignorance. Personally, I feel parents are mandated by God to be the instructors of their own children in the area of manners and morals and not the public (or private for that matter) schools. I believe, because so many parents fail to do that well, including yours truly at times, our lack of responsibility in the area of instructing our children has been thrust upon the schools.
To make a long story longer...what I wanted to say to my friend was I am trying as best I can to teach my own children to be thoughtful , kind, caring children (and adults) who will love others even when they don't understand them. Some days I can't seem to accomplish this on the small scale in my own home.
What I wanted to say was in some small way I want to make a big impact on my corner of the world by my actions. Though most days, my corner of the world is a house full of noisy kids and a sink full of dirty dishes.
What I wanted to say was I want more than anything to love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind. I want to love my neighbor as myself and teach my children to do the same. Some days I feel like my heart and soul are divided, I am at the end of my strength and along the way I lost my mind!
What I wanted to say is what we need is not a program but as a lifestyle of Christlike compassion that can erase the lines of prejudice we have drawn on our world.
What I ended up saying was more like "Blah blah blha blah bla, bla blah, blah." Ugh!