Lessons Learned

Now: Washing Away the Lines

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To pursue the commitment to be a teacher:  to share knowledge and fill young minds with ideals of love in order to grow our world into a more enlightened place. Encouraging confidence in who they are and not what they have. Inspiring them to appreciate the little things, along with the big. Refocusing them in hopes that they observe their lives as a gift: where each day their world is filled with experiences simply worthy of gratitude.

 A mutual choice. I chose to be a teacher, or did this beautifully creative challenge choose me?

Recently, these young beings have been the teachers. I have learned about how easy it is to override basic appreciate with heightened desires. To constantly want more and “what is” will never be able to satisfy. The frustrations that have accompanied these lessons have been consistently growing. I feel anger where empathy should lie. I dislike that I am unable to accept my own personal reality of what is – I am living in a system where more is the normal and less is unacceptable.

So that is my challenge. Encourage appreciation, community, love of self and equally of others. Oneness- where no matter how many “things” you possess; the value of self does not falter.

These where always my goals, yet I learned that I had my work cut out for me on a recent field trip. The concept of this trip: to build community between two different “types” of schools. The private and the public. Such a thick line drawn in the sand for these diverse environments, yet the students are just that.. students. Their love of soccer, Pokemon, scary stories, arts and crafts, watermelon, and excitement all meshed and corresponded perfectly to that of any second grader found around the world. Then why this rift between the “have” and the “have nots”? Why were some of the students able to appreciate every moment while others needed what they desired right at that moment. Without fail. The give me now attitude.  I found that while sharing was a main objective of this field trip, the demand required from some  was shocking. Patience shown and smiles on one side of the fence while impatience and desire rained on the other.

With this information digested it is now time to create ways in which showing the students that material items do not determine the value of a person, although the world might brainwash us differently. Goodness, truth, and our intrinsic value come from the self. It is found within the individual, and surrounding ourselves with souls from all “walks of life” makes us more predominately aware and relateable to those around us.

The most important lessons in life we learn from the lives of others.  From my teachers I was reminded of the gift of giving. Giving of ourselves to better the lives of others and giving of love to all those we come in contact with.

Love will allow the lines that we draw to be washed away and replaced by communities where we are not judged based on our haves but on our hearts.

Now: I Vote: For the Idealism of Children

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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.