Last night I watched a movie titled Moonlight and it got me thinking about how we as humans treat one another…The movie is about a young African American boy growing up in Miami, he is small and the kids call him little. He is also a little different and as the movie goes on you begin to see that he is gay, or as the other kids call him “Faggot”. All too often that which is not us, that which we do not understand we fear….
This is based on a true story and as an educator I see similar things in schools and on the streets. We treat people poorly, we base our judgement on color, religion, sexual preference, language, and really anything else that makes us different. Difference creates uncertainty, which then creates fear….fear then turns to hate….we need to change….we need to evolve….
A “little” boy uncertain about who he is,
struggles to learn about himself and his world
He is different….He is alone….at home and at school,
Made fun of because he is different,
He is quiet….he is shy….
Seen as weak, he is preyed upon,
Yet those that prey are only sheep themselves,
preying on the weaker sheep.
They call him names
They chase him
He hides…feeling unsafe, alone,
The boys leave….”little” is safe from his attackers,
but not safe from his own thoughts….
I must be less than, I must be bad, I am even shamed by God.
Am I a faggot?
Thats what they call me….
What is it….A faggot?
What is wrong with me?
Little goes home, a place of safety, of peace….
But not for Little,
Mom is a lost soul herself,
Drugs run rampant through her body,
Her mind lost, her soul adrift.
Little….Alone even at home,
This is the question I seem to ask myself often, why do we do this to others? Why do you fear that which is different, rather than be curious and learn. Why when we fear, we strike, we hurt, creating more fear, more resentment, more separation.
Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means perfect and there are times when irrational thoughts, ignorant thoughts run through my mind, but I work very hard to stop those thoughts and question…is there another way to look at it. Just the other day I was talking with my wife and we were talking about Nursing homes (her mother is in one) and I made a statement that it made me mad that we do not respect our elderly, we place them in homes and then never visit….My wife checked me on this, and I was so wrong. I made a judgement on others without really knowing them. Maybe they do come, or maybe they don’t. It could be that it is just to painful to see their parent like this, or maybe they just believe that they are in a great place and are safe…or maybe….
The point is I have no idea why? I have no idea what is happening…all I know is what I see at that moment in time from one perspective….mine. I have to stop and think, stop and question, evaluate before judging. WE all do this, I do this, WE have to be better, I have to be better….
Little, like all children, need us to be better. They need us to teach them to think, to feel and to see from many perspectives. We are all different and we are all very similar, yet it is the differences that make the world a better place. Don’t fear them, learn about them, do judge them, stop and listen….learn and grow….be kind and thoughtful…drop the fear by opening our eyes and our ears.