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Teaching Tolerance

One of my earliest childhood memories is going on long walks in the fall with my grandparents collecting acorns and then going home and decorating them to look like little people; some bald, some wearing hats. I played many imaginary games with these tiny folk, and also decorated my grandparents' house and Christmas tree with them.

Since I grew up in a very integrated neighborhood in Oakland, my acorn people were all colors, shapes and sizes. Part of the fun of having a kindergartner in the house is the ability to recreate these childhood memories in another generation.

Making acorn people with little Ryan reminds me that acceptance of people's differences in size, shape, and color starts in childhood. Now that racism and misogyny have been exposed to the naked eye and are no longer hiding out in our society behind a veneer of political correctness, it is more important then ever to teach our children tolerance and acceptance. You may not be able to take on the whole world, but you can start with an acorn.

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