We have an activity in our GLSEN* Professional Development called Earliest Messages. Through it we explore our biases or acceptance of concepts around diversity based on the messages we received from our family/friends/teachers/society growing up. Because I’m often asked why I do this advocacy work and HOW it came to be that I’ve always thought diversity should be celebrated when I say, “I’ve always thought diversity should be celebrated,” I’m often thinking about the earliest messages I received.
Sometimes something brings back an early message in it’s entirety and I think, “Aha! That was it! That was my earliest message about…”
This book. Woah. It almost rendered me speechless. Almost. It also almost made me ugly cry on the plane a half dozen times. Almost. The fact is, Glennon Melton Doyle, author of Carry On, Warrior and my favorite blog, Momastery, superbly took all the feels straight out of my heart and put WORDS to them! WORDS! Brilliant, riveting, funny, emotional words that give substance to all the love I want to show to and share with the world and don’t know how to express!!
Society can break people. On the day I realized this, I was in a 6th grade classroom in Manhattan, Ks. It would be my first opportunity in life to look someone in the eyes and try to help them heal. I was a sparkly-eyed bilingual elementary education student teacher with dreams of changing the world, in what I considered at the time to be a diverse school. That’s when a 6th grade student, Francisco*, broke my heart.