…living in a time of uncertainty because of your race (Jews were considered a race!), color, religion, political views, sexual preferences. To wake every morning and not know if today is the day that the SS will break down your door and take you, your wife or husband, your children, your family, your property. Imagine riding in a rail car for hours or days with no food, no bathroom, and it is filled with so many people you have to stand because there is no place to sit. Imagine your children crying because they are hungry or are now in soiled clothes. They are scared – so are you. You have arrived to the unknown destination; A Concentration or Extermination Camp. Those who have survived the train ride are hustled off and divided – women and children to the left; young strong and healthy men – to the right. The sick and frail, down the center. Your family has been divided, your children are scared and you, mom, despite your best efforts are having trouble coping and soothing your precious children.
Some of you have survived the immediate gassing and have been sent to the showers and given a prisoner’s uniform. Some of you weren’t so lucky. Those of you, who have survived, have now been assigned a number and are put to work; hard, heavy labor for 12-14 hours a day, every day with no break and little food.
Imagine this being your life. Imagine being beaten because you didn’t work hard enough or fast enough, because you were tired and took a short rest. Imagine…
YOU HAVE A VOICE…
We live in uncertain times today where our safety is constantly compromised and we must always look over our shoulder. However, you have so many freedoms today to live your life as you wish. You will not be gassed or beaten to death for expressing your religious or political beliefs. You are accepted in today’s society if you are gay or lesbian. We must worry today about teaching our children the lessons that many of our ancestors learned in a brutal and demeaning way. We all have a voice, and it is up to us to use it.
Learning to be tolerant and teaching tolerance to our children is a key in the solution. Tolerance is defined as a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry. Talk to your children, teachers, and administrators of your schools, friends and family about the importance of tolerance
Bullying is a great example of one of today’s issues. It is happening in our schools, parks and even at home. The definition of bullying is: the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. Again, here is another opportunity to step in and be a leader in your community. Visit your child’s school and get involved.
Learn how your community is dealing with this issue and offer to help. If your schools and/or your community doesn’t have a program in place to handle these situations, step up and create one.
Be pro-active; not reactive. There are lots of credible sites on the internet that can provide useful information that are historically accurate. Some are listed below.
Leadership is Action, not Position.
Take a stand today, join us in the fight against bullying, intolerance and bigotry, and help us teach your children what is right. Tolerance is one of life’s most important lessons. We must learn to accept and respect all those around us. Regardless of race, color or creed; No matter what religious beliefs we have.