What childhood lesson has always stuck with you?
Well, to be perfectly honest, all of the childhood lessons I learned have stuck with me. That’s how humans grow; it’s how we evolve into adults. As children, we are snowballs. As we roll downhill into adulthood, we collect more substance. Some of the lessons that we learn are good, while others are just common sense. When an adult tells you not to do something, e.g. don’t touch the stove because it’s hot, we don’t always listen. Most of the time, we learn by doing and we have the scars to prove it.
It saddens me that a lot of children learn behavior from adults that they shouldn’t learn. For example, racism is a learned thing. We are all born color blind. We don’t see the difference between races, or genders for that matter. As we grow, some of us are taught that the genders are not equal; some of us are taught that one color is better than another. Fortunately, since I grew up in a very mixed-race city, I never learned that lesson. I am still color blind today. And since I’m a female, other than the obvious, I don’t see any difference between genders. Everyone is equal in my eyes until they prove themselves otherwise. This is not a lesson that I learned in childhood, but it is something that I managed to keep. I nurture it now and shelter it from the wind, protecting it with all of my strength. I try to pass it on to others.
As much as we humans would like to think that education is standard, it is not. Some of us have more opportunities than others. Some, because their parents have money, are given more. Unfortunately, society proves that money can really buy everything, including freedom. How many times have I read the news only to see some white collar criminal serving time in what could hardly even be considered prison while another less financially viable person convicted of a similar crime is doing hard time? How many celebrities have gotten off easy because they are who they are?
So, while I’d like to answer this prompt with some lighthearted anecdote about how I fell out of a tree, I cannot. The childhood lesson that has always stuck with me is that life is incredibly unfair. Lady Justice is not blind; in fact, she is willing to take a bribe. There is no justice, no equality. Life, in all of its mixed up glory, is random, discriminatory and partial. You do not always get what you deserve, but we have to try to make the best of what we have anyway.