I once worked with an elegant and statuesque Armenian woman named Mona. She came in giggling to herself one morning. When asked why she explained that she had been saying goodnight to her two sons the previous evening when one of them told her that he was unhappy.
'Why are you unhappy?'
'I'm sad because the boys at school called me a paki.'
Her heart went out to him, and she sat on his bed in the darkness and hugged him. 'You should not mind that they call you that, because they don't know any better. We come from an ancient race that was civilised long before the English learned to eat off plates. We were the first Christian sovereign nation in the world, with our own language and alphabet and culture, and we have survived centuries of invasion and persecution. When they call you that they are acknowledging that you are different, and you should be proud of this difference.'
Her son snuggled down as she tucked him in. 'Thank you Mummy. I feel better now.'
As she got up to leave the room her other son spoke. 'Mummy, I'm unhappy too.'
She crossed to his bed and rested a gentle hand on his head. 'Why are you unhappy?'
'I'm unhappy because the boys at school called me a dickhead.'
'Well that's because you are one,' she said, as she hit him with his pillow.