Three boys were using their library time to goof off, so I asked if I could help them find a book to read. One of the boys answered, cockily, “Sure, how about a book about Obama’s economic policies.” Given that he was probably eight, maybe nine years old, I sincerely doubted he even knew what an economic policy was. But, information is power, so I took all of the boys over and showed them the biography section of the library.
After a quick tutorial on how to find, alphabetically, biographies on the President, I asked the boys if any of them would want to be President someday. Not surprisingly, the cocky one said yes, but the other two shook their head. One of them, tellingly, explained that he wouldn’t want so many people to dislike him.
They looked at pictures of the President in the books, and again, the cocky one laughed and said the above overhear about our President. It was finally at this point that I lost it.
“You do not disrespect the President of the United States, ever!” I told them. “You can absolutely disagree with his, or her perhaps someday, policies or choices, but no matter what, it is a difficult job that they have taken on and they deserve our respect for that.”
It hit home…. And the boy was finally quiet. At least until after I walked away.
I will reiterate this truth I believe in, our words have power, even more so when we are speaking them as adults around children. What we say and how we say it goes right into their head and without the context to understand our emotions, they none the less pick up on our beliefs. And I am not talking about our policy beliefs… I am talking about our moral beliefs. For example, how we treat people even when we disagree with them.
To riff an old jazz song; It ain’t what you say it’s the way that you say it! That’s what gets results.
BTW - I think Obama looked very cute in the picture.
Reader news - BETTING JESSICA readers please note –
Next week I am re-releasing an updated version of BETTING JESSICA. On Thursday November 15th (a week from today) I will have a one day free promotion so that you can grab the revised version if you want it for your
Also, if you liked reading about Jessica’s foil, Cynthia, in BETTING JESSICA then you might like to read a free story about her coming out November 30th on Free Reads from the Genre-istas. Check it out at: http://freereadsfromthegenre-istas.blogspot.com/
Finally, we are looking at the end of February for the release of my next novel, UNTANGLING THE KNOT. I’ll keep everyone updated here and on my home page.
Thanks so much for sharing the journey.