The following letter was written by Jessica of The Legacy of Leo, for her son Eli. It’s written with him as a ten year old in mind and touches on an important life lesson to him on tolerance and acceptance to others.
Dear Eli,Have you noticed how everyone is different? That people look different, sound different, act differently, might be from different places, or have different families? I wonder what you think about that? Do you like that, or does it make you unsure? Fearful even?I only ask because some people are afraid of other people who are different. Isn’t that silly? Why do you think they might be afraid? Everyone is different after all. You are different to others. Our differences make us unique and the world wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun or exciting if everyone was the same. Could you imagine having two, three or four identical yous in the world?! I would love it, but it would make you less… well you, wouldn’t it?Some people can be very mean and unfair to people who are different to them, just because they are different. They might just say horrible things, or they might stop them taking part in activities that they want to join. In some places, people have different rules for different groups of people, or even hurt them physically. Just because they are different. That makes me really sad. Because I’d hate for you to be hurt in anyway, just because you might be seen as different. How could anyone be afraid of you?Remember, now and as you grow older, that when someone is different, it’s a good thing. They make the world more colourful, and less black and white. People can act, love, look, sound, walk, move, live, think differently. It shouldn’t stop them having the freedom to just be them, or stop them having a home, or friends, a family or a job. It shouldn’t mean that people are allowed to be horrible to them, say nasty things or bully them.Sometimes people are very quick to judge someone who is different to them. They might not understand why someone did something differently to how they would. They might have made a mistake, or just prefer a different way of doing things. Often, people have very different opinions and this can mean they fall out with their friends and family. But we are all different, aren’t we? So there’s no need to judge others for these things – it’s a good thing after all.I want you to remember that you might not understand why someone is the way they are, you might disagree with some things, or prefer a certain type of person. That is all perfectly fine. But remember, this doesn’t means it’s okay to be judgemental, rude or mean. It doesn’t mean that that person shouldn’t be able to do the things that you can do. It really just means that you are both different and unique people – just as you should be.It’s always better to be kind to someone, than being nasty. Be kind. Love others. And remember, if you fear someone who is different, how might they feel about you? After all, you are different to them too.Be unique. It’s a gift.Love you,Mummy