My daughter and I took a trip to parts of Europe for 16 days. It was an unforgettable trip. I saw and learned many things. One of the wonderful insights that I became aware of is that we all are the same. I was around people from all parts of the world. We are the same. We may be on different journeys but we are no different than each other. Each of us has a family, dreams, fears, and desires. I saw some beautiful clothes that I had never seen before. I smelled and tasted foods that were foreign to me. I heard melodic languages from all parts of the world. The one common characteristic that I noticed was the smile. We all do it and it means the same in every culture.
Sometimes when we are in our comfort zone and the people around us are our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers we forget that there are so many other people in the world with different cultures (foods, beliefs, transportation, clothing etc.). On my trip, I saw such a variety of cultures that my eyes were open again to the fact that we are all the same. We are all spirits on this human journey.
I hope that I can hold on to this awareness until my next international trip. Until then I will smile as much as I can.
I have had to pause with my writing for a while because my emotions have been all over the place since the school shootings in Florida. The school is about 30 minutes from where I live. I have had to stop my car and let funeral processions for some of the victims go by. I have spoken to people who knew the teachers or students. It is more real to me since I live here.
My first thought is that schools need to implement from the youngest age The Inner Essence Project or some program that teaches compassion and cooperation. There is such a great need for love, compassion, community, and cooperation in our schools among the teachers, staff, and students. If we can begin teaching children compassion and how to monitor their behaviors and emotions they will become healthier as they grow older. They will be able to support each other and know when their support is not enough and let a professional know.
Children are the future and teachers and the ones to lead and educate them as to how to be loving, happy, and compassionate members of a community. I do not understand why teachers are paid so poorly given their enormous responsibility. I know many teachers who have to take a 2nd or 3rd job to make ends meet. This is not right.
There is so much wrong with our educational system but the respect and recognition that teachers receive are the worst. The average starting teacher salary is $36,000. The average highest paying teacher salary is $56,000. This is so wrong. These men and women are educating and, now protecting, our children. They are forming the future of our country.
When I went to India teachers were deeply respected and honored. When they learned I was a teacher they put their hands together and bowed as if they were in the company of someone great. Yes, teachers are considered great in India and other countries. But, here, they are at the bottom of the professional pay scale and often with little respect.
This has been my “soapbox” for a while. I don’t understand how a country can think so little of teachers and students to not immediately ban weapons of war. To me, this is a no-brainer.