A Facebook post set my morning on a different path, one filled with the idealist views of children. It guided my heart to the surface, and started a conversation with my students that lead to the empowerment of all.
Susan B. Anthony. Today, thousands of people (mostly women) are arriving at her grave to pay respect to a leader who fought for her beliefs. Equality. The fact that women should have a right to vote, and now we do. No matter one’s views today- the insight of a beautiful soul fighting for equality opened up the lines of communication and conspired into a powerful conversation held by 15 open-hearted 2nd graders and their teacher.
Shocked eyes filled the room as the simple fact that women used to not be able to vote was introduced to my little ones. They could not understand why things were not equal. . This transferred into a conversation about equality in individuals and our rights as beings. From the mouths of children you hear:
We have a right to love.
We have the right to be happy, to be equal, no person is better than another.
We want a leader that is kind, fair, loves ALL people, does not judge, does not bully, shares their crayons.
One that is respecting, friendly, picks up their trash, cares about our environment.
I told my students at the beginning of the year, no one person is better than another. I am not better and I am not smarter than them… I just have more experience (and I am older). I once sat right where they are, just in a different country and classroom.
These students understand pure love. They do not act on it all the time, but they understand what leadership is in the most simplistic sense of the word. Yet, as we grow older we are bombarded with every aspect of our world telling us what to believe, what to think.
To my fifteen 7 and 8 year olds,
I encourage you to listen to that constant beating truth inside of you. Take a moment to hear your truth. It will not lie and not faulter as it is YOUR truth. Yes, you will hear so many ideas and beliefs surrounding you. You can listen, but please in the end, there is only one choice. The one that comes from inside. If you believe in love and kindness- choose friends that fit those needs. If you believe in equality- treat all without judgement and keep that sacred. One day you will need to make very important decisions, do not forget these views as the beliefs you hold now are beautiful and true.
An idealistic world would be one run by children: where the only attacks we would have would be ones with hugs, arguments of love, and teaching through the act of meditation and mindfulness.
And my truth- having students keep these ideals within them and spread their truth with a voice as powerful as love itself.