“Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
The above quote is from To Kill A Mockingbird, which we are reading in Freshman English. We discussed it for a bit today and I asked for the students’ opinions and thoughts on the matter. After talking for a bit, the discussion moved on to other parts of the book and the morals presented therein. We discussed racism and hatred and all the things that make us hurt or cry. It is not difficult to focus on the negatives that so often seem to define our lives, and I was therefore not surprised that the conversation turned towards the negatives presented in Harper Lee’s classic. Finally, I asked my students a different question: “Well, how many races do you think there are in the world?”
One student’s response was exactly what I wanted to hear:
“Just one, Mrs. Nelson. The Human Race.”
Wow. Just wow. Imagine how different our world would be if every person answered like that. If THAT was the first thing people came up when we thought of race. I hope that my students pass on that viewpoint to their children. Maybe the future generations will understand what we didn’t.
We have such a wonderful capacity for love and kindness in each of us. Overall, we are a beautiful, amazing race. The Human Race.