One afternoon, my son came home from school with a puzzled look on his face. After asking him what was on his mind he said, "Are all people the same even if their skin color is different?"
I thought for a moment, then I said, "I'll explain, if you can just wait until we make a quick stop at the grocery store. I have something interesting to show you."
At the grocery store, I told him that we needed to buy apples. We went to the produce section where we bought some red apples, green apples and yellow apples.
At home, while we were putting all the groceries away, I told Adam, "It's time to answer your question." I put one of each type of apple on the countertop: first a red apple, followed by a green apple and then a yellow apple. Then I looked at Adam, who was sitting on the other side of the counter.
"Adam, people are just like apples. They come in all different colors, shapes and sizes. See, some of the apples have been bumped around and are bruised. On the outside, they may not even look as delicious as the others." As I was talking, Adam was examining each one carefully.
Then, I took each of the apples and peeled them, placing them back on the countertop, but in a different place.
"Okay, Adam, tell me which one is the red apple, the green apple and the yellow apple."
He said, "I can't tell. They all look the same now."
"Take a bite of each one. See if that helps you figure out which one is which."
He took big bites, and then a huge smile came across his face. "People are just like apples! They are all different, but once you take off the outside, they're pretty much the same on the inside."
"Right," I agreed. "Just like how everyone has their own personality but are still basically the same."
He totally got it. I didn't need to say or do anything else.
Now, when I bite into an apple, it tastes a little sweeter than before. What perfect food for thought.