Saturday, September 12, 2009
912 project: seeping a tea of fear
This morning, as I approached the metro on my way to work, I saw many people carrying signs and wearing tea bags on their heads. I was confused, but it soon became obvious this was a protest against our new president. The trains were packed, and once I managed to get in, I looked around to see many people carrying "Obama is a liar" signs-and even some with Obama as Batman's Joker (I believe strongly in the liberty of expression...but there is much to be said for respect to the individual and integrity). *sigh*
I asked the people around me about the protest-and they snickered as they told me of their beliefs. Clearly being outnumbered, I gently disagreed ....only to hear angry comments about my being "naive" and 'brainwashed' by the 'socialist administration'.
There was so much anger... I could not wait to get out at my stop!
At work, I asked my college students how many of them had watched Obama's speech to the shools on Tuesday- out of my 23 students-not one had watched it!
But I should not have been surprised...even in our own local schools, here in Arlington-where Obama spoke (!)- many teachers opted not to show the speech to their students.
How can we expect our children to be interested in things other than X-box and Harry Potter, when we enable their disengagement from society at large?
As much as I disliked Bush, had he spoken as president of the USA to the school children,-I would have wanted my son to hear him.
We heard some teachers tell us that elementary school children are "too young" and would get bored with the speech. A 20 minute speech?
Why do we continue with a dumbing down of our children?
We teach children as young as 5 years old in our studio-I know that they are able to listen to a 20 minute speech. And if they don't understand what is being said, it is the importance of the act sometimes that has value: children should learn that politics are a part of our daily lives. Often I hear from college (and some adults): "I am not into politics".
How can one not be "into politics"?
Politics are what drives not only our health care, but our food regulations, transportation, our human rights, our environment, housing, jobs...even art! Politics are the framework for our daily lives.
We bemoan the fact that our kids are "disengaged"...yet as parents and teachers we neglect their hearts and minds from the beginning!
Maybe that is why children like to come to our studio...not only because of the art they learn...but because we actually talk and listen to them. Because we realize the ample intelligence they have, their capacity for understanding and compassion.
And this brings me back to the march today...understanding and compassion:
Glenn Beck, the man who is credited with masterminding the march today, claimed to have as his goal a "unifying" of the nation much as we experienced on 9/12-the day after the tragic attacks in New York and Washington D.C.
However, today I saw simply hate and fear.
I saw the opposite of unity.
During the aftermath of 9/11 there was no distinction between blue or red or purple political beliefs. No bad mouthing of the president-even by people like myself- who was very unhappy with him and his office. There was only compassion and beautiful understanding of human beings--one to another. Love.
The televised speech of Obama became a "problem" to individuals across the nation before it even aired--simply because of the division caused by some media outlets like Beck. The March, further perpetuates this divisiveness in our nation.
I have hope in our next generations...(the good news are that most of the people riding the metro on the way to the march were older. The only children I saw were very young, with their parents. I saw no teens, no people in their 20s or 30s).
Things are due to change here and for many people: change, the unknown-provokes fear and they strike out as in the dark, hitting and tumbling and reaching ...for nothing...but indeed-causing havoc in the process.
Love is an expression of Truth whereas fear is the result of illusion.