I had a lovely lunch last week with my fabulous daughter and a few of her friends. Her life is good and she is very happy. She is thriving at school and enjoys the independence of living on her own. She is challenged in her classes and loves learning in the college environment. Most of all, she loves the freedom to be herself and to express her opinions. Her fellow students come from all over the world. They are democrats, republicans and independents. They are Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Atheists. They are straight and gay. They are a rainbow of colors and backgrounds.
Debate and discussion are encouraged at her university. When students have differing opinions, they are talked about in a civil manner. Ridicule and name calling are not necessary in a place where respect for diversity is the rule of behavior.
I am so proud that she feels comfortable in that type of environment. It confirms that we raised her to be a loving, accepting and open minded human being. In hindsight, our move to Utah helped to strengthen the core values we taught her. It actually showed her exactly what kind of person she did not want to be.
Many of my closet friends are of different faiths and do not share my political beliefs. So what? We care about each other and we know that good people come in all shapes and sizes. My children grew up living that basic truth. Thank goodness they won’t ever settle for all the same! For the many young people who are afraid to branch out and accept others who are different, I say “Whoa…Dream Big!”