"Irwin, my boy, you seem more pleased than usual to see me today. May I ask why?" Dharma queried. "Sure you can!" I replied, "And you are right. I am very happy you're here. You see, Sir, in the human world today is a special day. It's National Loving Day, a day set aside each year that celebrates the freedom to marry whomever we choose, no matter the color of their skin. As you know, I come from a blended family. Both my parents and my mother's parents are little green frogs, like me. But my mom's brother married a lovely Spanish frog from South America. And my dad's sister married a poison dart frog. While dad's green frog grandfather married a toad. So I have trouble understanding why some humans think it's terrible to marry outside of their race. I was kind of hoping that you might have some wise words for my readers on this subject...something that might help to open their eyes." Dharma smiled, "I'm proud of you, Tadpole and, yes, I can help you with your request. A frog's heart sees beyond what is visible to his eyes...no matter how big they are." Wow! I knew Dharma would have the perfect froggy proverb for this. And he didn't disappoint. I wanted to know more so that I could better explain this to my readers. And what follows is a synopsis of what he said.
In a study done by Charles Darwin, he found that all humans are 99.5% the same. This shows, certainly, that the color of one's skin is only one half of one percent. Maybe less. So why do many humans and, sadly, a few frogs, see this as a barrier to love? It simply doesn't make sense to me. Dharma believes that it is all based on fear, fear of what we're not familiar with. If our parents weren't exposed to people of different races and cultures when they were young, they are less likely to be accepting of them as adults. The false narrative that others who don't look like us aren't as good as us, gets passed on to their children. But race is all a myth. It's something we tell ourselves. Nature didn't create race, according to Dharma, humans created it to protect themselves from others who don't look or think exactly the same as they do. Those who choose to see with their heart, rather than their eyes? The world opens doors to so many new and exciting possibilities.
When you come right down to it, shouldn't we all be looking for qualities like compassion, kindness, generosity, honesty, and a sense of humor when choosing a mate? Aren't those far more important than the color of their packaging? The old saying, "Love is blind" can be looked at in a couple of ways. 1. When we love someone we tend to overlook their faults. 2. When we really love someone, the color of their skin disappears. We see only a good and kind and loving person (or frog). And doesn't that make a whole lot more sense?
National Loving Day celebrates racial diversity in marriage. But I think it should celebrate interracial friendships, too.
Dharma and I spoke at lengths on this subject. We both agreed that teaching children, not that race doesn't matter, but that race is only something in our heads, is what will change thinking and views going forward. Everybody wants the same things in life. It doesn't matter where they come from or what they look like. Children are born accepting of others. They learn racial biases from adults.
I came up with an analogy that I'd like to share with you and this is it. Humans are like a box of cereal. The most plentiful ingredients are listed first. The farther down the list an item appears, the less of it there is in the cereal. When we shop for food, don't we often look at the ingredients list to be sure we're getting more of the good stuff and less of the not-so-good? Would you purchase cereal that listed preservatives as the primary ingredients and whole grains last? Probably not. Yet many people think it's unnecessary to look at the "ingredients list" when selecting a life partner. If you believe the findings in Charles Darwin's study, skin color would be listed as the very last item, coming in at a lowly .5%...not even worth consideration.
I am fortunate to come from a diverse and loving family. And I am blessed with having friends who come from all corners of the world and from many different species and cultures. They have helped shape me into the frog I am today.
I hope Dharma's lesson today enlightened you in some small way or, at least served as a reminder that the heart always has 20/20 vision, if you don't put blinders on it.
Please join me back here tomorrow for a fun and informative look at primates. I think you'll like it! Always be beautiful.