Sometimes you meet someone who makes you think "Wow. I am glad that I am not That Guy." For whatever reason. Maybe he got into a wreck, or maybe his wife is screaming at him for getting the wrong kind of bread, or maybe he is sleeping on the bench in the park. Or maybe he is just prejudiced.
I try to think about how everyone was raised differently, came from a different place, maybe even a different time. They had different experiences and met different people. All of this made this person who he or she is today.
I met a guy yesterday that obviously grew up differently than I did. We were both born in Boston and come from Boston families and are approximately the same age. He clearly had a different childhood than me though. To stick with some basics and not get into too much, but still give you an idea: he was an intelligent child in an experimental program. They tried to integrate English and Spanish students and tried to teach all of them everything. Long story short, he was one of two white kids in a class of Latinos.
So, he views immigrants and the like differently than I do. I grew up in a French-Canadian town with close to no minorities.
I am a bleeding heart liberal. I think instead of closing the borders, they should make it easier for people to come and go. I say "Give us your poor..." (Wait, that's not me, that's the Statue of Liberty...) We are all descendants of immigrants. My Irish ancestors certainly did not get a warm welcome when they got here, so should we be passing the torch or perhaps changing our ways?
Anyways, my point is this. I am very grateful for my parents teaching me that hatred is wrong. That all men are created equal. (Wait that wasn't them... that was the Declaration of Independence...) I am not entirely sure where they learned all of this, growing up in Roman-Catholic Boston families. Catholics (if you don't know) are notorious for hating everyone. My parent's families are terribly prejudiced. It is quite embarrassing really. But my parents are not. Sure, they did grow up in a different time, so things like homosexuals and piercings they need time to adjust to, but in the end they are very accepting and loving.
I wonder if Ryder will be a bleeding heart liberal. Will he want to minimize his carbon footprint and vote and treat others how he'd like to be treated? I hope so. I will do all that I can to expose him to different cultures so that he understands that not everyone is like us - and that is okay. Not only okay, but great. We can learn so much from different people and different cultures. I will also instill in him that it is okay for him to be whoever he is. Buddist? Okay. Gay? Okay. Republican? Err.. Okay.
I hope he doesn't end up like That Guy.