From unjust experience to a teachable moment

My youngest son recently returned from a school trip to Quebec. He had many experiences that created memories he will carry throughout his life. He will undoubtably reflect upon this trip and smile, laugh and remember that one introspective moment in time.

During this trip, he and a group of his friends wanted to purchase Quebec hoodies as souvenirs. While browsing the products at a local shop, the retailer announced that he would offer a 10 per cent discount for “only the white kids.” The group was comprised of kids from various racial backgrounds, and this statement stopped them in their tracks.

This statement of discrimination stunned the group! However, it was the actions and solidarity of the group that spoke volumes and silenced the retailer. They put the items back, left the store and took their business elsewhere. But it has been the days and weeks since this experience that have had the most impact on this group.

These kids, (who are straddling childhood and adolescence) took this racial injustice experience as an opportunity to open the dialogue with their educators, parents, siblings, and most importantly, with each other. This was a teachable moment, a life experience, a life lesson and a reality check.

As much as I hoped my youngest son would grow up in a world of equality, I am afraid it isn’t so. We are just not there yet. What I do know, is my son and his peers are not tolerating unjust or prejudicial treatment of people based on race or sex.

This trip became a moment in time where their level of personal growth was enhanced. They made a collective statement, they made a difference in their world and by existentialism, the world beyond them. There will be a positive ripple effect for each of these kids. The effects may be profound and life altering. The ripples will be good, kind, sensitive, inspiring and wonderous. I am proud, and hopeful that these kids will continue to grow and bring about the changes our world so desperately requires.

This is the latest piece in an ongoing series of inspirational blogs written by Velsoft team members, with this one written by account representative Cindy Skinner.

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