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What Should We Be Questioning Now?

July 21, 2020

Look what has happened
While this world was requiring children
To learn and do
What they were not ready
To do.
Listen to the silence of children

Not at play,

While the world was busy snuffing out
Their interests,
Their talents,
Their curiosity,

Their questions,
Their wonder,
Their innocence, 

Their very souls.


The world’s children have missed 

Their childhoods.
They've lead a workaholic’s lifestyle
Only to arrive in college 

Burnt out.

They arrived only to lose their college life

To the pandemic of inhumane expectations
That have left them questioning
So much, 

But perhaps mostly,
What now?


A vicious cycle has
Come full circle.
And now we are asking our children
To mask their smiles
And confine their wiggly, boundless, beautiful bodies
Overflowing with energy
And life,
To invisible cages.
And if the confines of desks and chairs
Weren't enough of an insult
To their natural yearning
For the freedom
Of learning,
The Standards that have placed a chokehold
On teacher
And student
Are from, and for, a world
That no longer exists.


Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see where it all
Has brought us?
If you don't, there's not enough room
In this poem
To explain it to you.
If you do, then you will understand what must come next.
It must not be about expectations
That demand children sacrifice

Their bodies, minds and souls - their very lives, even -

For the sake of learning mechanized, force-fed bits of information 

About everything, 

And nothing.


It must be about honoring their bodies, minds and souls
And helping them grow into the people they are meant to be,
And to learn to love learning 

So much
That they will become a student 

Of their own inner teacher.
Some will want to learn 

Through their minds,
Some, through their bodies,
Some, through their souls.
And the world needs them all.
And they need a world
That needs them all.


Don't you see, too, that this world
Which is on the verge of collapse,
Is a reflection of the unhealthy conditions
We have inflicted on our children?
Don't you see that the way to heal our path going forward, 

Before it's too late

Is to stop long enough in our broken tracks
To look, listen and feel
And to acknowledge
The insanity that we have wrought on our own humanity?

 

We should all be questioning

What now?

What is it that we need to be fully human?

The answers will guide what we should be teaching our children.

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© 2017 Wendy Beth Rosen