This session at Alluem Kids, we've been talking a lot about peace. Peace in our heart, peace in our home, peace in our schools, peace in our communities. For last week's class, I wanted the kids to think bigger. Children are constantly exposed to what is going on in the world - through the TV, newspapers, computers. I started to wonder how often kids get the chance to reflect and talk about all that they see. Often kids are brushed off while adults may think, they're kids - they won't understand. But they do. They hear it in the background as adults watch the news. They see it in the paper laying on their doorsteps. They get it. And if it's not discussed, it could possibly bring up anxieties that may not be necessary if only they were discussed. I know some parents discuss current events and I know there are schools that allow time for discussion, but just in case they don't get the chance, I wanted to give them that chance.
During our meditation time, I asked the class to think about the world as they know it. I asked them to think about the good parts of society as well as the bad. I asked them to tell me what they see on the news, in the paper or on the computer. War was brought up, poverty, theft. Some kids had stories to share and we discussed. I asked them to then close their eyes and take all of the things we talked about and push them aside, to let them go. I asked them to think about how it would be in the world if we all worked together with one goal in mind - Peace. I had the kids place one hand on their hearts and told them to tune into their heart beats. Then I said to them, "Every human, every person in this world, every child just like you has a heart beat." I had them take a deep breath in and out, and reminded them that, "Every human, every person in this world, every child just like you breathes the same air. We were all created the same in body, breath, and heart. It's how we grow, the decisions we make, and the love and peace we share with one another that makes the difference. Across the world, we are all the same." I asked them to imagine a world where there were no borders between countries and everyone was treated as equals. No you or me. Just us...and we all lived together in peace. The 3 important words: One. World. Peace. As we moved into a silent meditation, I encouraged the children to use a new mudra (or yoga of the hands - forming shapes with the fingers that hold meaning): One - extending the first finger. World - extending the first 3 fingers in the shape of a W. Peace - extending the first 2 fingers in a peace sign. As they sat with their eyes closed the hand over their hearts moved through the mudras - One. World. Peace. over and over.
After the meditation and many group poses where we would need to work together - such as Group Chair, Group Tree, Group Warrior 2, etc. - I posed another question..."If the entire world had only one flag, what would it look like?" The children came up with some awesome designs as seen in the video above! They also rocked out to K'naans "Waving Flags" while they worked. K'naan, who's name means "traveller", wrote this song after being exposed to so much trauma at a young age around his home and as he travelled from place to place. From this place, he has only become a stronger person today, as he sings in his song, "When I get older, I will be stronger. They'll call me freedom just like a waving flag."