Kindness Begins with Crayons
A Response to the Serena Williams Cartoon
Kindness begins with crayons —
small fists and sweeping scribbles,
drawing before talking,
before labeling —
making something beautiful
out of blank, empty space.
Sharing is first learned here.
What I make,
what comes from me,
will only be enhanced by sharing with you.
If we hoard what we have,
we both end up with less.
The crayon box also teaches about brokenness.
The fragmented ones still make bright marks on the paper,
still contribute to the loveliness of the new creation.
Sometimes a little peeling of paper is required,
but what comes from the broken one
is no less wonderful than the first mark of a brand-new one –
especially if you are patient and willing to angle your hand just right.
With a box of crayons, you can draw anything,
make your corner of the world more beautiful.
you can use your crayons in meanness,
in chosen ignorance,
in fearful self-protection,
in the mixed pleasure of seeing
what trouble you can stir up
by what comes from your hand.
You could tear down others,
evoke racial stereotypes,
give your audience a shortcut toward seeing others
in as negative a light as possible . . .
but given what you could be doing
with your delightful rainbow of choices,
why would you?