Patrick Murphy

The little boy asked me if I could open his bag of potato chips, and I gladly obliged. After all, a boy needs his chips on the first day of school.

He didn’t know me at all. I was just some guy, and he needed to get to those chips.

That is the beauty of children. They are wide-eyed innocents.

They are the best of us before we become jaded, opinionated and closed-minded.

Children don’t know Republicans and Democrats.

Children don’t know differences in skin color, religions, ethnicities or gender or any of the things adults use to judge others.

To children, if you are nice, if they can trust you, that’s all they know.

We teach them not all adults can be trusted, but children are a blank slate ready to learn, so it is up to use to teach them the right things.

Unfortunately, we teach them to notice differences too much.

Children are not born hating, that is something they are taught, and sometimes we teach them without even realizing it.

Adults talk about race, creed, colors, religions and politics in front of their children without realizing kids are sponges, absorbing everything.

They look up to their parents and believe everything they say without question.

Children need guidance, but they grow up to be their own people with their own thoughts and opinions.

They ought to be taught to be loving kind, accepting, compassionate, tolerate people.

They ought to be allowed to grow and learn who they are and what they will believe and stand for.

It’s OK if they spread their wings, have their own opinions and thoughts.

It’s what we want to help nourish - strong, independent thinking people.

My hope for the future is our children learn from our mistakes.

I hope they see the divide in the country over politics, race, gender and so many more things, and realize we got it wrong.

We should not be divided, we should be united as people who should have the same rights.

Simple human rights should not divide us. We should not fight each other because we look different.

Maybe our children will grow up and not see differences, but similarities.

Maybe they will look at people who are different colors, gender, ethnicities and religions, but they will see the differences as way to understand, not judge. Then then can they see the person standing in front of them as an equal.

We should teach our children to be open minded.

Today’s children are the future we need, and not just our future, but a future of a world that can exist.

Before these kids grow up to be the next leaders of our country, there is work us adults have to do, and it’s not too late.

We may not be kids anymore, but maybe we can learn something from these kids, which is to accept one another as equals. If we do that we can make sure our children have a brighter future, one where we all live with the openness of a little boy who needs help opening his potato chips.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.