But these first graders have different priorities.
If I were President I would . . .
Empty my bank account and give the money to poor people.Every single child in this particular class wanted to be a Good Samaritan. Every single poster talked about helping people or animals in tough situations as a first priority. Every single one.
Help homeless animals.
I loved the novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett. One of the most memorable parts - never elaborated on, never explained, but perfectly clear nonetheless - is black maid/nanny Aibileen's firm insistence on never caring for white children over age eight. The novel is set in Mississippi in the early 1960's and Aibileen is raising her 17th white child. She feeds them bottles and changes their diapers. She plays with them and potty trains them. She sends them off to school. But before they begin to see her as black, as other, before they start treating her as their parents do, she moves on to a new family.
We teach our children about kindness and generosity and manners and giving and thanksgiving. Inclusiveness and thoughtfulness. But we teach them other things, too. I see this in my own children. I see the way my six-year-old stomps off to be alone when she's angry. I hear the way my three-year-old can say "fiddlesticks" as though it's a vile curse. And I know: this, too, they learn at home.
On the balance: what do we teach our kids? And who will they become?