This time of year, you have to love all of the colors in Minnesota! Did you ever notice how all of the colors just work together, in perfect harmony, and form an incredibly beautiful world? It isn’t difficult, it just happens.
Our world is also made up of all kinds of people; we are all different (colors, shapes, sizes, ages, etc.) Together we can also live in harmony. Why do we make it so difficult?
This school year, Minnesota D.A.R.E.’s campaign, will be DARE to C.A.R.E.
C.A.R.E. stands for C – Caring, A – Acceptance, R – Respect, and E – Equality. These are some steps we can take to reach our goal.
First, we need to care for others. The definition of care is to “feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.” Everyone is important and deserves care.
Acceptance means “the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.” Who are we to judge others as being inadequate or unsuitable? Be kind to everyone and “accept” others for who they are. You do not have to love their behaviors but you can still accept the person. Everyone comes from a different background that helped make them who they are; good or bad. Listen (with all of your senses) and try to understand. Everyone is a unique individual with feelings, gifts, and talents too.
To respect someone is a way of treating or thinking about them. If you respect your teacher or your parent, you admire her/him and treat her well. Everyone wants to be treated with respect. Everyone (young and old) deserves to be treated with respect. If you want to get respect, you have to give respect.
Equality means “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.” We are all equal and desire to be treated as such. For some reason, we seem to get the idea that we are better than others; it makes us feel special. Treating people equally, respectfully, accepting them, and caring for them will actually make you feel better about yourself too.
Living in harmony with others doesn’t come as easy as the colors of leaves in the fall. Consider how spending time judging, gossiping, criticizing, trying to control other people can make you miserable too. Why not trying C.A.R.E. instead?
Kathi Ackerman, MSW, LGSW, LADC