My two and a half year old son is very into good guys and bad guys. In fact, he knows almost all of the Star Wars and Super Hero good guys and bad guys by name. And to top it all off, he frequently leaves the house dressed in a good guy or bad guy costume. (I find it is easier not to fight this toddler phase). This Friday morning, I had to swing by our local auto shop, with all three kids in tow, to get my tire patched. My son was wearing his Captain America mask and holding his Captain America shield when a nice African American man started talking with him. They went back and forth for a minute or two about the costume my son was wearing. I smiled and laughed.
Then, as we were leaving the auto shop waiting room, my son turned to me and said, “He a good man, Mommy, he a good man!” I said, “Yes, he is a good man.” And the African American man looked me square in the eye and said, “Thank you.”
In the moment, I responded by saying something like, “oh, you’re welcome” or possibly, “sure!” I can’t exactly remember…It struck me off guard, and honestly I was just thinking about how nice it was for someone to talk with my son about the Captain America costume he wears 24/7. But it struck me shortly afterwards, that he might have been thanking me for much much more. You see, my son did not look at this man and pay attention to the color of his skin. He paid attention to his kindness, his character, and his interest in comic book characters.
I know that bad guys exist in real life, not just in sci-fi and fantasy worlds. We are reminded of this every day on the news. And although I try to talk to my children about bad strangers and good strangers, I am so proud to see my children recognizing goodness by the soul of another, and not by his skin color.
In full disclosure, I avoid the news. It makes me sad, fearful, and worried for myself and my children. But when events take place that one cannot ignore, such as the recent monstrosities in our country, a choice must be made. Do we allow ourselves to be sucked into that black hole of non-stop negativity and give power and legacy to the bad guys? Or do we personally make changes in our own lives to promote the kindness and peace that our country truly needs? I am choosing the latter. I will help my children to recognize the good guys. I am going to teach my children to be the good guys.
Psalm 37:37 says, “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.” So join me, friends, let’s observe the upright and seek peace. Captain America is here to help us.
~Think on These Things~