The other day, I had breakfast in one of those modestly-priced hotels/motels where breakfasts are included. A man in his mid-thirties was going through the buffet with his young son, who looked to be seven or eight. I didn’t catch the first part of their exchange, but I heard the son say to his father, presumably about yet another traveler who was filling a plate “But that’s not the way we do it. That’s wrong.”
The father used that exchange as a teachable moment. “Different people do things differently. That doesn’t make one person wrong and the other one right. They’re just different.”
I wanted to kiss that guy.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all parents taught their children that simple principle? Wouldn’t the world we live in be more pleasant, more comfortable, if people would just learn that “different” doesn’t necessarily mean “wrong”? How much richer would our lives be if we enjoyed people where we found them, if rather than trying to make everyone do things the way we do, we chilled out and accepted the wonderful variety of life?
We could use a lot more fathers willing to use a mundane experience to underscore an important life lesson.