Children could teach us a lot of valuable lessons if we would only pay closer attention. But somehow adults are so caught up in a world consisting of things like making a living and impressing their neighbors and co-workers they never notice the little things, and perhaps the more important things of life.

Children could teach us a lot of valuable lessons if we would only pay closer attention. But somehow adults are so caught up in a world consisting of things like making a living and impressing their neighbors and co-workers they never notice the little things, and perhaps the more important things of life.

On Tuesday, as I arrived at the Phillips County Library, I stopped and watched as a group of youngsters, probably ages 5 and 6, walked in line to attend a magic show. I couldn’t help notice that a little black girl was helping a little white boy by guiding him up the steps by the hand.  It was a beautiful sight. That scene also solidified in my mind a conclusion that I had arrived at years ago. Racism is not something that is inborn. It is taught and practiced at home.

It is a proven fact that if you put almost any two children together, regardless of skin color, they will play together and enjoy one another’s company. Oh sure, if they hang around together long enough they are going to have a quarrel or two. However, unlike adults they will eventually settle their differences and move on and play together another day.

On a day-to-day basis, most blacks and whites can get along and live in harmony. Recently, I stopped in a local business establishment to buy a nice cold soft drink. I had walked several blocks and it was quite hot. I was hot and tired and waiting in line had taken its toll. The elderly black lady in front of me was very patient and pleasant. She politely asked me how I was doing and I replied, “Just fine, thank you.” I responded by asking her the same. She smiled and said, “Just trying to stay cool.” To which I replied, “That’s not easy today.”

That encounter changed the mood of my entire day. Her sincere kindness overwhelmed me.

Unfortunately I night I go home and watch the evening news. Too frequently, it is filled with hate and all sorts of ugly violence. Police allegedly shooting unarmed blacks and a hate-filled 21-year-old who walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and killed nine innocent people. It was determined to be a “hate crime” but in reality aren’t all killings “hate crimes.” After all, hate is the only thing that kills and destroys.

All of a sudden racism is turned into a great big ugly political football. The center of attention is taken away from the fact that we live in a sick society where people kill others simply because of the color of their skin and the spotlight gets turned on the display of a flag from an era gone bye.

The Civil War was the most horrible period in U.S. history but it did happen. Denying the historical significance of that era would be likened to those who will tell you that the Holocaust never happened. A lot of brave Americans died in that war to set their brothers and sisters free.

Racism continues its heavy grip on our society because I think most people are afraid to talk about and confront the issue just like they find it difficult to express their faith in God. I will readily admit that I have been reluctant to tackle the subject within the confines of this column. But if things are going to change there has to be a meeting of the minds.

The next time you see a black child and a black child playing together, stop for a moment and watch them. You just might learn a lot. Remember that Jesus told us all, that if we cannot become like little children, we cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

What an example they set before us every day. Oh, if we could only imitate them, how much better off we would be.