Life Lesson 3
If you want to change the world
measure a person by the size of their heart,
not the size of their flippers
“Why is his skin a different color?”
“Dad, that lady is really fat.”
“What’s wrong with that boy?”
Kids notice appearances. And they comment on them, to the chagrin of many a mortified parent. How do you teach them to respect and celebrate differences?
One group of SEAL recruits was called the “munchkin crew.” None of them was over 5-foot-5. The other guys always made fun of the tiny little flippers they had to wear on their feet.
Yet they out-paddled, out-ran, and out-swam all the other boat crews. They proved that the only thing that mattered was their will to succeed.
What this life lesson means to us
We’re all guilty of flipper-shaming in some form. We judge people by their jobs, their clothing, their speech and even their tattoos (or lack thereof). And our kids are watching us do it.
The way to teach appreciation for differences is to talk about them. Recent research has shown that when parents shush their children for talking about race, for instance, kids become anxious and confused. Instead, use your child’s observations to start conversations about diversity. Explain how we’re all the same on the inside.