Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Cruelty of a Child

This is going to be a random post, but I have been thinking about an incident from my childhood and wanted to share a story with you.
When I was a little girl, I had a friend. For the purpose of this blog, we will call her 'Sue.' I had a good time playing with Sue. She was a very tough and funny girl who made me feel brave. Then one night my mom found out that I had been spending a lot of time with this little girl. She sat me down and said, 'I don't want you to play with this girl. Her family is nothing but trash.' I was upset because I didn't understand, but agreed because my mom said so.
Of course, at school the next morning, Sue came running up to me with a big smile on her face. I felt awful for a minute, then remembered my mom, and how angry she could get if I disobeyed her. I stuck my nose up in the air and said, 'My mom says that I'm not allowed to play with you anymore because your family is trash!' Never once thinking about how it would make her feel. Please remember that I was only about 9.
Later that evening my phone rang. My mom answered it and I watched her face turn redder and redder as she apologized profusely for me 'lying and hurting someone's feelings so badly!' Apparently Sue had gone home in tears to her mother asking why they had to be trash because she missed her friend. Mom lied to save face.
That night, I got the beating of a lifetime. For parroting my mother's ignorant prejudices. And I might have given a sweet little girl an emotional scar that she carries to this day. I am still friends with her as an adult. If you read this and recognize yourself, I am truly sorry. I promise you that your face when I said that haunts me to this very day.
Be careful of what you teach your children. Kindness and empathy is ALWAYS the best route.
As always, thanks for listening and God bless!.

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