“I choose…to have…a good life.”
These are the words recited each day, and between the long time, East Los Angeles elementary school teacher, Ms. Reifler and her most beautiful 5th grade students. She incorporated this essential aspect of self worth into her teaching curriculum, when not one…but two, of her young students confided with her that they had tried to commit suicide.
“I just don’t know what do with my life,” explained the younger of the two children.
We send these, our youngest minds, off blindly each day—hopeful that our school systems might help to fill the void between dreams and reality.
And yet, each day…these most beautiful spirits are losing hope. Some, as young as they are, have already given up on life.
When they are our of sight, we forget…we forget, that these minds have incredibly important issues that they are dealing with every single day.
“How many of you have had breakfast this morning?” Ms. Reifler asks of her class—as most stand fearful in response.
And this is not just one sad statistic—the result of a city’s economy crashing inward and spiraling down. Neither is this one outlier data points—rather, this is sadly becoming our Nation’s new reality.
“In the next few years, we don’t know what the world will be like…and we want them to be strong. Unless we do something with education…with the total human being…we are not really preparing our children.”
So many of our children don’t feel safe in their homes or in their environment, and this weight they carry…is much greater than that which can be supported by any of even the strongest of ‘book bags’.
It’s time to give our children the very basic tools of humanity—that of compassion, belief, and self respect.
And when we have done just that—then we may sit back and watch our children go onwards and outwards into this great big world knowing that they have the tools within them to help them succeed.
Please take a moment to watch this most heartwarming video about one teacher who believed that she could—and convinced all the rest of her students, that they could…as well—and in doing so, she was able to give to them just a little shelter from their own ‘inner storm.’
“I choose…to have…a good life.”
Absolutely, and indeed.
We are all students and teachers here in this life; let’s make sure that we do what we can and share.
One person…one life…huge impact.
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Ed: T. Lemieux
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