Facing The Future . . . FEARLESSLY!
As a nation we are facing a new presidency that was not expected and definitely has not been well received by many pockets of our country.
Nevertheless, the reality of a new beginning with a new face of our government and the presidency is inevitable. As we, as adults, are struggling with this transition, imagine what the youth of our nation are feeling. These youth were not able to have a voice in the election and its outcomes; yet they will be impacted immediately and in the future.
How do we help our youth understand how to deal with disappointment? How do we help our youth understand the need to respect a process?
First, we must acknowledge the pain and hurt associated with the outcomes and the transition. Not acknowledging the situation will not make the situation disappeared. Additionally, we must let our youth (and adults) alike know that it is ok to have these emotions because it is a natural reaction. It must be emphasized, however, that grieving and coping with the disappointment is imperative to healthy understanding and personal growth. Reflect before you act.
Second, we must communicate with, our youth, truthfully, that democracy is a process that works even if it doesn't yield the outcomes we desire. We must help them to respect the idea of democracy and the importance of maintaining integrity at all times. And yes, this conversation will bring to light some actual moments of the past year that were contrary to this idea. However, it must be communicated that all processes have some setbacks. These setbacks allow us to be reflective and use that setback to strengthen the process and to get better.
Finally, we must let them know that there is no need to be fearful of the future. We must remind them that our government is truly one of the people. We must let them know that we, as citizens, can mobilize and change the world if we plan, organize and clearly express what outcomes we want to accomplish. We need to also encourage them and let them know that they can be that change agent, especially if it is a cause they believe in.
Fear cripples and stifles our deepest passions and desires. We must not allow our students to feel that this "specific change" in their lives will create a new 'status quo' dominated by fear. We must teach them to use the idea of being afraid of something as motivation to unearth the truth, spread the truth and use the truth to change things.
Our youth don't know how to make this happen without us, as adults. So my question to you today is how will you face the future?
FEAR should not be an option!!!