As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
The truth is that I was taking the time to think about the day of Cinco De Mayo that takes place on May 5th. This is a day of celebration when the Spanish won the war against France. It is not only a historic celebration, but it is also a day that has become more of a cultural celebration. Families get together, enjoy food, music, culture and traditions.
I was reminded of the Spanish student, he was walking with his friend in the hallways, not a care in the world, so it seemed. He stopped by and said: "Miss, Happy Cinco de Mayo", I was startled, and actually very happy that he shared this with me. I also said Happy Cinco de Mayo. I asked him about his heritage, and how he will celebrate this day. He was pleasantly happy with our conversation.
At the beginning of class, again I was surprised, when a student decided to write "Happy Cinco de Mayo" with chalk on the board. I felt happy, particularly because of my own attachments. Even though Cinco de Mayo is not formally acknowledged in this country, I thought it was necesarry to share my thoughts and good wishes to all. I wanted to acknowledge students who were celebrating, also for the purposes of building an inclusive environment. All the students were happy to learn the information, and thoughts that I had shared.
Photo taken at New York City Library 23rd May, 2017
On another day, I remember the same student talking to his friend, this time he asked, why he could not speak Spanish, or why teachers did not care that he was Spanish. I took the time to listen and observe.
Reflection I began to think about the Spanish boy, and how much I could relate to him. I felt what he was feeling, because when others don't acknowledge who we are as a person, the attachments we share, we truly feel as though we don't belong. We don't feel valued. Now I'm not saying that we need others for validation, but I am saying: How can countries embrace these differences, how can countries embrace language / historical celebrations, even if it is not part of a national discussion, language or heritage? Do we need to make school structures so rigid that a student must leave a part of their being "put away in a drawer" in order to fit in?
Connection To Self As I viewed the poster for the Latin America Photograph exhibition at the New York Library, I remember the feeling, feeling so grateful, hoping that I would be able to see this exhibit. And I did - even though there was no physical being present with me, my heart felt a deep sense of belonging. I felt loved, loved because of this attachment, that was derived from the land. This is the beauty of feeling attached, feeling loved, the feeling allows us to flourish. As I think back to the Spanish boy, I ponder: What would change, what would be different if the Spanish boy felt that sense of belonging, felt loved for who he is, regardless of the land that he is living in?
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to all human beings, to think and ponder. My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :)