It’s all in how you look at it

ColumnistMarch 9, 2017 

For those of us who don’t spend a lot of time looking at stuff on social media outlets such as Facebook, a very interesting post may have escaped us. A mother recently posted that she was discussing her 5-year-old’s wild hair with him.

The young man’s response was that he wanted his hair cut exactly like his friend’s hair, so that their teacher couldn’t tell them apart. In case you haven’t already guessed it, Jax, the one with the wild hair, is white and his friend, Reddy, is black.

Apparently a picture of the two friends with their matching haircuts has gone viral, and for good reason. The only difference this boy could see between himself and his friend was their hair. His mother wrote, “If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is.”

Honestly, how many of us make snap judgments based upon skin color, style of dress, jewelry or even haircuts? How many of us harbor preconceived notions about people from other countries and of different cultures?

We’ve had plenty of examples in the news lately of shootings based upon nothing more than the victims’ appearance. While I view all crime as hate crimes, I really have a hard time understanding why anyone would choose to harm another simply because the other person is different.

We are all different from one another, even if we happen to be of the same race and culture. That’s what makes meeting new people so fascinating — the differences.

Why is there still this huge disconnect? People are people are people. We are all trying to accomplish the same thing: making a living, raising a family, building a better life or perhaps just getting by. There is nothing even remotely logical about hate and prejudice. Why can’t we all be a lot less like those senseless shooters and a lot more like 5-year-old Jax?

Now an update from last week: The fourth annual Jerry Tabb Memorial Scholarship Monopoly Tournament was held March 4. In my humble opinion, it was a huge success. We had 20 very enthusiastic players who had a great time. A big thank you to all who participated: the players, the sponsors, the bankers, the student volunteers and the wonderful staff of Cass Career Center.

Based upon the response of those who were there, we plan to do it again next year. Please consider giving it a try in 2018.

Finally, I am compelled to thank almost all those who emailed and called this past week about my recent self-inflicted injury to my finger. I am past the part where there is a great deal of pain and the jokes are a whole lot funnier now. Stitches are out this week, typing is still extremely slow and tedious.

I’m happy to report that I am on the mend and anxious to be cleared to get into the garden. And there is still the matter of that pile of wood that is yet to be split...

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

David Coffelt is a Harrisonville area resident and his email address is

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