The “little ones” actually mean it. Why can’t we?

This photo captured my heart. I can’t stop looking at it. And wondering . . .

Little white boy offering a flower to little black girlPhoto: Maggie Andresen/NOLA.com  The Times Picayune via AP

Lucien Novak, 2, shares his flowers with La’Nae Hartford, 5, at Lee Circle in Center City during a protest last week in New Orleans. Many protests were held nationwide after police killed two more black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Oh, the wonders of children. Their innocence is, perhaps, a blessing.

Sometimes I wish I had it more than I feel I do. I miss my age of innocence.

Each one of us grown-ups has a “little kid” in all of us even if we don’t want to admit it.

Shame on us for stomping it down into submission.

Shame on us for pretending it’s no longer apart of us. Inside us.

Shame on us for ignoring our “little kid.”

We need to tap into him and her more often.

We need to pick some flowers and extend them in an innocent gesture of friendship.

We need to say “Here, my friend. You matter.”

Regardless of where hatred and racism occur and regardless of from whom utter stupidity erupts, we the people are better than that. The nut jobs, I’m afraid, will still be hanging around some corner or some parking lot or some high-rise regardless of what we, as civilized people, do.

We can not let it get the best of us. Our “little kid” inside really doesn’t want that.

If picking flowers and offering them to a total stranger sounds weird, a bit naive and even uncomfortable to you, then try this: How about simply extending your hand in a gesture of friendship and, maybe, just smile.

It’s not that hard! It won’t hurt. Trust me. Try it.

The racist bigot next to you may not care. But you will, as will the person smiling back.

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