A New Mission

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3 thoughts on “A New Mission”

  1. Well Ben, you have to define what it is to be an American? I personally would say that American is like looking at the word European? That includes a lot of countries and it would here too if the United States weren’t so ego centric and defined generally by white males. Not to say my pain is greater than yours but it all depends on who is defining.

    Most of us do not think about the Indigenious folks of the Americas who were enslaved as soon as Europeans with guns arrived to the continents to exploit the resources they found “free” for the taking. When that resource of human labor began rapidly disappearing due to abuse and European diseases, the African slave trade began. And because it was profitable continued when the Europeans were making it illegal in their own home countries. And yes, let us also empty out the prisons and send those folks to work off their debts in the New country. It is all about profits and new sources for resources.

    One of the first writings in the 1700s out of Virginia was to comment on “when we can establish jails we will be able to teach the power of what they mean to these indians.” There is a sad thought right there. ?

    So to change the mindset that it is okay to use force with a knee to a throat is a centuries long battle and I certainly agree the time has come for monumental change. It is not an American issue alone as we have seen the world rally. It is a question of what does it mean to be human?

    It harkens back to operating out of love or fear. I choose love and when I feel in my body that I am not, I question myself as to why. I know my circle of influence is small, but within it I can give big of heart and time. And I can call into question those I feel are acting wrong. Use the power of your vote and your spending to be one of your mouthpiece. Uplift those in your neighborhood. And celebrate the brave acts of others.
    Respectfully your friend Kate

  2. I am so grateful that the time of teaching with love is finally almost here. My belief is when the current gets switched on, it will all move fast to higher ground.

    Mr. Floyd’s passing was a major jolt for us all. The switching on of the current will change our profession forever so that it reflects the quality of love that you embody in your writings and certainly your own teaching.

    The jail statement above is truly sobering. It is not too much of a stretch to see that if that was their mentality three centuries ago as they ripped into your cultures, it probably informed our current prison-like schools as well. It is a mentality that is shameful.

    As the child said yesterday at Mr. Floyd’s funeral, when has the U.S. ever been great? However, the new work we are doing now will change the schools from being prisons, at least in the area of languages. The kids have already shown thanks to COVID that they will not be imprisoned. Therefore, we must learn how to teach online so that it works and we will. The Zoom group is proving it.

    If people were to truly reflect on what COVID has done to WL education, they will see that it is a permanent shift, and there will be no more return to “normal”. Putting kids in memorization prisons was never normal. Love will out. The capacity of humanity to do dark things is being shredded.



  3. I agree with most of the things you’ve said here. Here are my offerings for shifts. Mr. Floyd did not pass away. He died, he was assaulted and died, he was murdered at the hands of the police officers arresting him. We must speak the truth. With the Authority not speaking it. We must and speak it clearly, mindfully, and often to counter the rhetoric. The words we choose are all important. This was not a respectful death. It should not be minimized by a euphemism.

    Remember those jails existed long before arrival to plunder and colonize these shores. They were not a recent invention of a mere 500 years. Oppressing the other is part of human existence. We probably will never change that part of human existence but we have plenty of examples of humans who have learned to moderate their desire to oppress others.

    And Love has ALWAYS been the heart of great teaching. It has been going on as long as children sat at the feet of their Elders and listened to the stories. Stories was the teaching method employed by all generations along with work beside one another.

    The prison method of factory teaching for the public exploded during the industrial revolution to keep the children out of the factories. And the indoctrination of native children to assimilate to western culture truly achieved the near destruction of the Indigenious peoples of this continent. Those left struggle alongside the rements of slave culture and new migrants. I agree with that young person, “when was the United States fever great?”

    It all depends on which lens you choose to look through. Choosing our words is a great place to start in changing our perspective. And teaching to smaller numbers at a time reduces our factory method of teaching. It allows us to see students as humans and not data points.

    Hail Covid an opportunity and a curse. Hail the United States an opportunity and a curse but a place where new experiments in how to define yourself and your life are encouraged in the framework of the Constitution. How blessed am I to be a citizen and how important it is for me to be a responsible citizen by working to help my country be a better steward of the land and the citizens (which include humans too) which reside here.

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