A viral video celebrating kids who don't see difference may be missing a larger point.

In a heartwarming video, pairs of young friends are asked to think on one question: "How are you different from each other?"

In the viral video from the BBC kids network CBeebies, the pairs of children usually have a very clear difference, be it height, race, disability, or gender.

But the elementary-age kids tended to focus on differences that were a bit more ... elementary.


What makes you two different from each other?

These children were asked how they were different from one another. Their responses might just bring a tear to your eye! 💗(via CBeebies)

Posted by

BBC Family & Education News on Sunday, June 18, 2017

Toe size, lettuce appreciation, position on the soccer field, and whether or not their homes had squirrels in the roof were all discussed by the BFFs.

It's a delightful, charming scene, but there's an unspoken message here that needs to be addressed.

Reading through the comments on the post, lots of readers applauded the children for not paying attention to their more obvious differences, like race, gender, or disability. "Why can't adults be like this? Why can't we all be like this?" one viewer wrote.

But that's just it: Children should be raised to recognize and celebrate the fundamental differences between people. And they can only learn that if we openly talk about them.

Image via Cbeebies/Facebook.

Whether their parents talk about it at home or not, kids notice race.

Their parents might assume that by not talking about race or difference, their children will grow up "colorblind" to the challenges of society. Not only is that view misguided and denies people their own identity, but usually the opposite happens. White children as young as 3 or 4 years old in the U.S., Europe, and Canada, already show a preference for other white children. Kids are curious and learning new things about the world around them, so they often draw their own conclusions about how things work. If race isn't talked about at home or at school, those assumptions (sometimes totally incorrect) can go unexamined for years.

Children at Scripps Ranch KinderCare in San Diego. Photo by Robert Benson/Getty Images for Knowledge Universe.

Parents raising children of color usually have these conversations, earlier and more often, simply as a matter of necessity. If we hope to encourage the next generation to be conscious of and thoughtful about difference, then more white families (and educators) need to start having these conversations. The same goes for all families when it comes to disability.

As early as 5 to 8 years old, children are old enough to learn and consider social issues and their implications.

The can understand that people of color and people with disabilities may be underrepresented in the books they read, the characters they watch on TV, or even in their classrooms at school. As parents, grandparents, and trusted adults in children's lives, it's important to model your own friendships with people different from you. Read books with characters of color, different types of families, and characters with disabilities. Don't shy away or shush children talking about differences. Help clarify their thoughts and assumptions.

Our differences make us strong. Our differences make us unique. And our differences make us beautiful.

But these differences in race, religion, ability, class, gender, and more must be acknowledged and celebrated with specificity and respect. (Even if that difference is liking lettuce.)

Image via Cbeebies/Facebook.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less