Missed Opportunity For A Political Teachable Moment

This morning, I replied to a Promise of America Blog post my friend and web master, Jeff Lewis sent me. The story is re-print from an email that’s been making the rounds for the last year or so.  Jeff came across it again on another blog and thought he would pass it along for those who hadn’t seen it.

I know the old Yellow Brain Rule: Never discuss politics or religion. However, I enjoy discussing both topics and learning about other people’s perspective; and I had never seen this story that made a huge impact on me and my credo of acceptance and inclusion no matter what your political or religious affiliation, unless it is abusive or illegal.

“Recently, while I was working in the flower beds in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog.

During our friendly conversation, I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up.

She said she wanted to be President someday.

Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, “If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?”

She replied… “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.” Her parents beamed with pride!

“Wow…what a worthy goal!” I said. “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that!” I told her.

“What do you mean?” she replied.

So I told her, “You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge and I’ll pay you $50. Then you can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.”

She thought that over for a few seconds, and then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?”

I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party.”

Her parents aren’t speaking to me now.”

I wrote Jeff and thanked him for his thought-provoking post. Even though he was not the author of the post, I would have thought it was Jeff because of his Brain Color attributes and abilities.

I could see Jeff offering the little girl an opportunity to appreciate another individual’s point of view. I was so disappointed that the parents missed an teachable moment and educational opportunity to teach their child how to respect some else’s perspective even if it differed from theirs.

How sad that the adults were so narrow-minded, were modeling exclusionary behavior and disrespect for their neighbor. It is a shame that the parents did not make a “teachable moment” out of their conversation with their neighbor, or should I say ex-neighbor. Not accepting another person for who they are and what they value even if their perspective is different from yours, has become a tremendous problem in our neighborhoods, country and the world.

Jeff is a Green Brainer and I am a Blue Brainer. And I think we are a perfect example of appreciation and acceptance of different perspectives. We may not always agree politically, but that has not prevented us from being friends and doing business together. Our thought-provoking conversations always offer me ideas that are fresh, helpful and/or fascinating!

What are your thoughts about this or other “Missed Opportunities for Teachable Moments”?

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  1. Laurie Buchanan on April 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    “appreciation and acceptance of different perspectives”

    Pivotal. Key. Vital.

  2. sheila on April 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I am in complete agreement with you, Laurie. I wish everyone owned and used a “Vital Pivotal Key”. I can visualize a brilliantly colored key. It is a combination of yellow, blue, green, and orange sparling material that could open people’s minds and hearts with a gentle turn of their perspective.

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