“Hey, look! It’s the kid who fell and busted his face on the wall (laughing)!” A 5th grader said to his 3rd grade brother while the ashamed, tiny, Kindergartener hung his head down (maybe to hide tears). Sadness overwhelmed me. I thought to myself how inaccurate parents are when they respond to suggestions to modify specific behaviors like this with the “they are just kids” deflection.
Well, I immediately wondered on that morning what kind of citizens would evolve as a result of this calloused insensitivity they weren’t taught was wrong? Feelings of sadness rushed in again. How well will they be able to work in teams or communities? How will they treat people who are different, have less, or speak differently? Most painfully, I pondered, how will the kindergartener present his hurt and shame throughout his school day?
Now, my children, like all children, were by no stretch of the imagination perfect. But they knew that if they were to intentionally cause hurt or shame to another human being , that I would be disappointed. They grew up to be team players, got along with all people regardless of status, race or any differences. I am proud of that every time I see them offer help or kindness instead of anger or ridicule.
“History really doesn’t follow a straight line. It zigs and zags, but the trend lines ultimately will be in the direction of a less violent, more empathetic, more generous world. And that requires individuals fighting for that future.” ~Barack Obama
My hope is that adults responsible for establishing the foundations of the next generation will understand that they are not JUST kids but they are the future who will inevitably become more rooted in what they practice today. Model empathy and kindness. And then expect the same from your young people. You might just make a difference in the kind of day a Kindergartener has! Love, Mrs. C❤️