Harmony Garden This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The beautiful garden sat in the sun enticing all the children of the world to come and play in its lush green grass and wonderful flowers. There was a high fence surrounding the garden. On the gate there was a message, which read: All who enter into these gates, must live in peace and harmony. Please leave all your hate behind and come and join the fun.

Well, as the children were drawn to the gate from all over the world, the children and their parents read the sign and the children began to say, "I have no hate to leave behind, I already live in harmony." But as each tried the gate, they could not open it up. Each child returned to their parents and asked them why.

The first young boy was a Native American Indian boy. He asked his father, "Father, why am I not able to enjoy nature with the other children?" His father answered, "We are not like the others. We will go home and you can play in our fields." The little boy was upset and did not follow his father. "Why should I not play in this garden?"

The next child to approach the gate was a young Chinese girl. She read the message and responded, "I do not hate anyone," but as she tried the gate, she found it would not open. "Why, mother, am I not allowed to go into the garden?" Her mother answered, "We are not like the others. You can go home and play in our garden." The young girl did not follow her mother, though. She stayed and sat outside the gate.

The next child to try the gate was a young African boy. He read the message and tried the gate but again it would not open. "Father," the young boy said, "Why can I not go into the garden?" "We are not like the others and we cannot go where they go," the father replied. The young boy was sad. He did not understand, but he saw the other children sitting around and so he sat down by the gate and watched the other children.

Next came a young Russian girl and a young Mexican boy. Both tried to open the gate, knowing that they had no hate in them, but again the gate would not open. They joined the other children that were gathered outside the gate.

Then, a young girl approached the gate and read the message a loud. The young American girl said, "Well, I have no hate in me," so she tried the gate. When it did not open the young girl replied "Why does the gate not open? Why are all the children outside?" "We are not all alike, my dear," her mother said. "We don't all get along and we don't all stay together and aren't seen together in this world today. Let us go home now." The young girl said, "No, I want to go into the garden and I will stay at this garden until I can get in." The mother hesitated but had much to do and so she left.

The young girl called together all the children that had gathered by the gate. She asked them, "Did you try the gate?" Each one answered, "Yes, but it did not open." The young children sat together outside the gate of the garden. Sitting in the sun, the children were becoming bored and began to play together.

As they played, the gate to the garden unlocked and began to open, very slowly. The children saw the gate opening and all ran up, pulled open the gate and ran inside. The children continued playing together in the garden and as the sun began to set, their parents returned. They saw the children playing together and realized that their own prejudices were pulling the children apart and keeping them from becoming friends. The children had shown their parents that regardless of their bias, they were all the same and enjoyed being together, teaching their parents their innocent tolerance. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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LastChapter said...
Jan. 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm
why would the parents' prejudice mean that their children have hate inside them? are the kids, who so clearly had no racism against anyone, not allowed to think for themselves? i didn't understand why they weren't allowed in. should we all be held accountable for our parents' mistakes? as well as that, i also didn't agree with the part that stated, "they were all the same". people shouldn't have to be the same in order to get along. it is true tolerance when a person can accept<... (more »)
 
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