Politics can be a complicated topic to explain to kids. The colorful characters that aspire to lead the country can be a bit too much. One mom tried to explain to her children how she is evaluating the different candidates.
Cheryl Pages-Alba published a post on Facebook detailing why she does not think that how candidates appear or speak should be the basis for not choosing them.
She first emphasized the importance of good manners but explains that not everyone has the privilege of being raised well.
I have taught you good manners. It is very important to be respectful and polite. You’ve seen Mommy talk to people properly and fairly no matter who they are. I must say, though, that not all people grow up with the privilege of proper parental training, and some people grow up without any parents at all, which leaves them with hardly any good role models to follow.
She then went on to teach them that it is more important to look at a person’s heart and actions rather than at the way they speak, their appearance or their manners.
Now, this will be one of the most important things Mommy will want you to remember: people who say bad words do not make them bad people right away, and people who are trained with good speaking manners do not make them good people right away, because we always look at the heart first. More importantly, we cannot look down on people based on their upbringing and manners.
Gaston was famous and loved by the villagers because he was handsome and said what everybody wanted to hear
To drive the point home, she used something that her children could easily understand: Disney movies.
Do you remember when we watched Beauty and the Beast? Gaston was famous and loved by the villagers because he was handsome and said what everybody wanted to hear, while on the other hand Beast was scary, mean, and roared to the point that it frightened everyone away – just like Quasimodo. But we got to know Gaston’s evil ways as the story unfolded, didn’t we?
There are people who look good and speak well. There are also people who look mean and say ugly things. What Mommy wants you to know is that we should go beyond looking at things only from the outside. Do not think a person is this-or-that based on their appearance or their words. Try to listen deeper and understand their heart. As you grow older you will learn to differentiate the real and sincere people from the ones who make promises and don’t care to keep them.
You will have people in the real world who will try and trick you just like the wolf in The Little Red Riding Hood when all he wanted was to kill and eat the innocent girl. There are also those – just like the evil queen – who will disguise themselves to look pure and innocent. And then you will have some people who will take advantage of your kindness just like the wicked witch who gave Snow White that bitter poisonous apple. In the real world, we have to spot the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
There are people like the wicked stepmother, her daughters, Ursula and the eels, where you could already tell from their actions that they had ulterior motives and questionable intentions from the start. We avoid those people at all cost.
Don’t be fooled as well by some people in the inner circle of powerful organizations: remember that Jafar was the most trusted adviser to Princess Jasmine’s father, yet all he wanted to do was take the power from him. Scar was King Mufasa’s brother! But he killed him so he could rule the jungle. People will go to great lengths with the meanest of ways to bring others down so they can rise to the seat of the most powerful and possess the land.
In the end, it is always the good ones that win and prevail!
She ended with an optimistic reminder:
I know I painted a frightening world for you with all the stories I wanted you to remember. But don’t forget that in the end, it is always the good ones that win and prevail! For every bad person out there, believe that there are hundreds more who will fight for a greater, more noble and real cause! Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Jasmine, and Aurora were up against the strongest of enemies. Truth be told, they had no power against all the villains who had magic spells, dragons and vengeful sidekicks to aid them. What everyone underestimated though was that truth, love, kindness, and goodness are all forces in themselves far greater than any other power one could ever imagine.
It’s okay to be confused for now. As you grow older, you will realize that “You will listen less to what people say and you will look more upon what they do. Actions will prove why WORDS mean nothing sometimes”.
It was never about the happily-ever-after, or about meeting Prince Charming. It is with great hope that I ask all the grown-ups to rewind and go deeper into every Disney story you can remember. The substantial and underlying message that subconsciously shaped our childhood is that we must learn to characterize people by their actions so as to never be fooled by mere words.
It is certainly a good and timely reminder to look past appearances and propaganda because the future of the country will be significantly affected by the leaders we choose on May 9. It is our right to vote; but for the sake of our children, it is our responsibility to do so wisely.
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