“COVID-19 will leave a lasting mark. We’re going to need support to heal and grow in its aftermath. While states are re-opening and discussing how to eventually go back to school, most of the focus is on physical safety — masks, temperature checks, extra hand sanitizer, maintaining distancing. But how will your first-grader feel when they can no longer see the smile behind their teacher’s mask, exchange a high five to celebrate a job well done, or receive a hug when they seek a moment of comfort? How will they learn if they’re afraid?

– Maribel Perez Wadsworth, Publisher, USA Today

In the United States, school starts with a bell ringing, and then someone says, “Please stand for the pledge of allegiance”. Everyone stands, with hand to heart, looks at the flag which was in the corner of every classroom, and recites, in unison:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

As the school day began, it helped set a mood and a purpose for all students, was unifying to our diversity of nationalities: reminded us that all were to be respected, liberty and justice for all.

Last year, an 11 year old refused to stand for the Pledge. Now, it’s not required since 1942, children have freedom of speech not to stand and say the pledge, if they so choose. But he specifically did not want to, because he felt it was untrue. We do not have liberty and justice for all. More and more, our president makes it clear that this 11 year old was oh so right. Sad, but true.

We are a nation divided. And a world also divided. But on the level of ultimate truth, we are all One. With the Pandemic responses around the world, humanity rallies to itself, and we are all One.

Perhaps we tell the truth better if we say: Everyone wins when we make a stand for Peace-Building: respectful, inspiring energy seeking heart connections to our inner joy and wisdom.

This pledge moves us. Emotionally, we are aroused, motivated. Seeking is the truth of our being, especially as children, but even as adults: we are seekers of the fair and just, seekers of peace.

Children, and in fact humans, cannot learn when we are afraid, upset or traumatized. Doing the Empath Stretch in the morning, could be followed by a check in, around the circle, around the room: How are you?

When we can’t touch each other, we can use gestures. The non-verbal communicates so much more powerfully than just words. Verbal communications are easily ignored: our brains have been organized to resist and ignore being told what to do. But we see and feel the non-verbal communication. We cannot help but respond.

We can help by responding!

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