Teaching Tolerance

September 10, 2010 10:10 by Kristi

O2B Kids is born and bred in Gainesville, Florida.  It’s a wonderful place to be!  Gainesville is home to innovative thinkers, kind-hearted souls, beautiful scenery, and plenty of fun!  But right now our town is in the news because of something very different - a small group of people demonstrating intolerance and disrespect.  That’s not who we are, or who we want to be.     

As I look over what O2B Kids believes in, I see consistent messages of respect, tolerance, acceptance, kindness and compassion.  In fact, that’s why we were created in the first place, and what we hope to accomplish every day. 

We have two rules: 
(1) Respect Others
(2) Have Fun

Our Manifesto:
We believe a child’s job is to learn how to become a responsible, respectful future citizen of our world….Different is beautiful….We believe in respecting others…. We each control our own actions, thoughts, and words.  Nobody else.  Exercise this freedom with respect….We believe in love…. Make good choices….

Our Core Purpose:
O2B Kids is a place that opens minds….  O2B Kids encourages kids to try new things and teaches a respect for people, property, and ideas…. We willingly participate in the care and development of every child.  We believe in a united community and promote the interdependence of our world. …  As an organization, we strive to positively impact every community we serve.

We are reminded now that, as grown-ups, it is our responsibility to teach our kids how to have an open mind.  Let’s talk to our children about different beliefs in this great big world.  Let’s talk about choices we make and the consequences of them.  Let’s talk about acceptance, tolerance, and love.  Let’s explain that we don’t have to always agree, but we need to know how to work toward solutions.  Let’s teach that different can be beautiful, that there is more than one good idea, that we are all equals even if we don’t always understand. 

The building blocks for tolerance and respect begin with our children.  What will we teach them today?