I find no coincidence in the fact that on this heavy, seemingly dark day, one of Chicago’s Public Schools opened its doors to me, making room, offering space for the establishment of a skill set, the skill set I believe we need. On a day when my soul needs a hug, I was moved to tears as a team of parents, a loving principal, said yes to investing in social and emotional wellness programming for our children.
My heart ached last night as the reality became clear that we are not only a nation divided but one that has failed to both speak to as well as listen to the other side. It is hard to talk, it is hard to listen, especially when emotions run high. It takes skill to move from judging to hearing, from hearing to understanding, from understanding to putting the ego aside, to remaining open when defenses want to rally, when the heart wants to break down and cry.
And yet we have the tools, the ability, with practice, to successfully intervene. And with each school, with each system that opens it doors to this work, to therapists, to yoga instructors, wise leaders, who can spread the skill set of practicing how to pause, listen, understand, and lead with love, we will have the power to learn from this heavy time, to move from darkness into light.
We possess within us the ability to make profound and meaningful change. When we stop trying to prove others wrong and learn rather to engage, to ask questions, to seek to understand, we will open ourselves up to the field of possibilities where healing, resolution, and peace exists. We can start with our children, start in our schools, our businesses, within ourselves, all we need do is just start.
“It is not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It is our job to raise children who will make the world a less cruel and heartless place.” -unknown