The girls have been helping us introduce Ben to Sesame Street and as we were perusing some of the Elmo options, we ran across this one that describes and teaches about including others. The idea is simple: the sheep are dancing without Elmo and when Mila points out that it makes Elmo sad, they stop dancing and invite him to join. Noticing that Mila has also not been included, they stop the music again to include her.
After we watched this video together, I’ve watched it many more times wondering why we can’t get this seemingly simple lesson. I hear stories about Donald Trump’s people escorting out a woman who was Muslim and a crowd joining in the discussion to exclude her.
We can get so caught up in our own dancing like sheep following the wrong voice that we don’t even the people (and Elmos) who are standing next to us. I’ve heard all the excuses about why people are joining the Trump bandwagon, but I won’t be one of them. Including other people into our lives and communities is at the foundational core of our country’s founding and for those of who call ourselves Christians, it is at the core of our religious identities because Jesus himself welcomed all.
I don’t have hope for a lot of the adults who are of voting age, but I do have hope for a world that isn’t so full of insecure people who have to exclude others to make themselves feel more comfortable. I see that hope in Saturday morning craft sessions at our local library branch where our kids sit at the table sharing crayons with black children, Indian children, white children, and any other kids who walk through the door.
And I will keep reminding our kids to look up and to take note of the surroundings and offer a seat at their table. If a 7 year old and 5 year old can learn that, then so can adults. Stop making excuses.