Tonight while hanging out with my ten-year old daughter, she suddenly asked, “Daddy, why are some people racists?”
“That is a really good question,” I replied. “There are people who need to feel superior to others.”
She told me about a girl at her school who walks around making racist remarks and, “judging everyone.”
Then she said, “I don’t know why people can’t just be together and have fun!”
I agreed with her, saying that, “Underneath the skin, we are all people.” But then asked her “Why do you think that people have a need to feel superior, or to see themselves as better than others?”
“Because they don’t feel very good about themselves for some reason.”
She told me that she understood. We had pretty much the same talk a while ago about bullying and why some people need to bully other people.
So why do people feel badly about themselves to the point of racism or bullying? Why do people have an innate need to feel superior to someone else?
It is all pretty mind-boggling if you think about it.
Someone with curly hair wants straight hair, while those with straight hair use curling irons. Someone with freckles would really like to get rid of them, while someone else with clear skin thinks that they would like to have some cute freckles.
It is never-ending. It starts at a very early age and follows us into adulthood. We could list millions of reasons why people may feel badly about themselves.
Heck, I can even feel superior to people who have a need to feel superior!
It isn’t always easy to be honest with myself. But when I catch myself thinking or doing, or even saying something that I know is wrong, it is time to remind myself that,
underneath the skin we are all the same.