Teach Peace

This is from my @houseofmashinchi Instagram account with an update for my blog...

I know that there are many who do not agree with my stance in welcoming refugees from Syria and other nations into the US and Oregon but I will continue to stand in the place where fear of the unknown does not rule my life.

The reality is that since 9/11 we have become a country ruled by fear...fear that is reinforced and encouraged by the media. We are teaching our children to fear. 

At some point we must rise above and NOT assume the worst about every single person we meet that is different because that's what it boils down to...difference. We must become a nation of learners...a nation that is curious about the sameness of those around us rather than the difference. Tolerance and peace should be prevalent not hatred and fear.

Consider where your feelings come from and examine them. It's ok to have fear...not ok to be ruled by fear. Consider the message you are sending to our children. I want my students, all of them, to know that I view them as young adults, not just Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, male, female, trans, gay, fluid, or the like. Each of them are precious and amazing beings that have something to offer the world. Love and tolerance is how we change the world.

Today I saw some of my Muslim students creating a photo collage that says "I'm a Muslim, not a terrorist." This broke my heart. In a world where two weeks ago these students were, at best, treated with indifference, they now feel the need to tell their school world that they are not someone to fear. In these times I begin to wonder what are the messages we are sending...messages where those who have already come to our land are questioning their safety. Some of these are children who already fled their country...others are students who were born in the US and are Muslim by faith. They are hearing the rumblings of wearing "identifying markings" and wondering what this means for them.

The students from varying countries at my school are close knit...many of them building their own little United Nations. They are learning to work through their own issues of culture and conflict within the school setting. What am I supposed to do when all they see outside the walls is a world where disagreement is grounds for exclusion and war. Today I had a student, who I have worked with for over a year, tell me that a student in his class (who happened of another nationality...this is only for the readers information and was not mentioned by the student) called him a bad name...should I have turned and said, "Clearly he is a terrorist?" NO! We talked about how to mediate these types of situations, how to use your words, how to ask for help.

We could all learn this lesson. We all could check ourselves a bit. There is crushing prejudice within our everyday situations and now we are compounding this by a racism that is beyond fathom. If you really want to worry about terror taking hold, consider the divisiveness that is currently being preached by many. This isn't about "keeping those I love safe" but rather it's about "excluding those I don't understand." Education is powerful...read up on religions you don't practice...you might find that peace is being talked about in more places than you expect and within that place, maybe you will find peace too!

#reynoldsraiders#houseofmashinchiwriting #challengeday


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