"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Abundance and need, for all of us

Hey, J

So the Thanksgiving holiday is finished, and we're jumping into the frenzy of December.  As I sort through the piles of presents and cards and decorations,  I'm thinking about abundance and scarcity.

It's been a long time now, that I've been teaching children--many of whom live near the poverty line.

When I hear about a need for material help, I---as do most of us---try to respond.

When I look at their lives,  I look for the treasure that's there, as well as the need: often, children who are struggling with any kind of lack in their lives develop a rich depth of inner courage and determination.  (When you know your clothes are not 'cool' and when you might be tired from sleeping in a too-cold house or not enough to eat for dinner--or breakfast,  just getting on that school bus and going to school requires a level of stamina that is truly astounding.)

I worry about the far-reaching effect that a lack of abundance--never mind abundance, how about sufficiency?!--can have, in our kids' lives.  Worry over the implications of the fact that good nutrition & sound sleep  directly impact the way that minds learn and grow.  Worry about what our kids'  dreams are, for their future---and whether their horizons are too small for their innate abilities,  only because of the constrictions of their daily lives now.

I wonder, too, J, about condescension, compassion, and community.

 Wonder about where community ( being willing to be responsible for each other) and compassion (being willing to help by  donating goods/funds) intersect.

Wondering about the unspoken social communication involved here .  Wondering about whether it's  mixed with any level of condescension, on the one hand, and resentment, on the other.

 Hoping that's not the case, at least with our kids.  With anyone.

Thinking about how much we all need each other, and wondering whether we can be blinded to that need by having too much or too little.

I want to fill my students' daily lives with an abundance of joy and beauty--with the fun of playing music together--with sheer delight in just learning together.

  Fill my life with that, at the same time.  We need each other to be present, for that to happen.

Just wondering, J.  No answers, just thinking.

More, later.

No comments: