“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”. This is an excerpt from a speech made by martin Luther King Jnr many decades ago. It is a very profound statement because it is very obvious that the visionary is not too concerned about the skin colour but more about the content of our character which has a direct correlation on how people of colour are perceived.
As we celebrate black history month, it is very important that as parents, we will use this period to share with the younger generation heartfelt moments of our own experiences and struggles and that of our predecessors who started the cause for our freedom. In as much as we learn about our struggles, it is imperative that we focus on building inner strength and good character which will very often put to the test.
People are therefore not born with their character because it is a result your natural temperament modified by childhood training, education, beliefs, principles and motivations. One can argue that Martin Luther’s vision above was meant to be for parents because we have been given the privilege to nurture and mould our children from the cradle till they fulfil their potential.
As parents our role is to empower our children to achieve greatness and to become their true selves, regardless of the colour of their skin. A child living in an environment that has a lot of positive affirmation finds their worth early enough to carry on the vision of our forefathers. However, if you are in a home that parents or extended family always remind you of your limitations and reinforce how you can’t achieve anything in this life, it will take a lot more for the child to discover themselves and handle criticism.