I listened intently to President Obama’s speech to school-aged students across America. I paid particular attention to the potential political messages that he might be sending that could offend people. What I heard were words that hopefully inspired our students to take responsibility for their own learning. What I heard were words that called students to action–take themselves as students seriously, study and be engaged, respect your teachers, give back to your schools and community, and finally give back to your country. His words were relevant, personal, and professional. No doubt there were some political undertones, but they were primarily focused on the students taking action, not being passive learners. These calls to action are not Republican or Democratic, conservation or liberal.
I think we should take a few deep breaths and ask ourselves as a nation, why so many parents, politicans and pundits have made such an emotional argument for not letting America’s students listen to their President try to inspire them to take responsibility. In these sometimes angry responses is the “dark” side of our collective unconscience. The side that wants to diminish rather than build up. The side that wants to destroy rather than heal. The side that wants to divide rather than come together. When I listend to my President speak today, I heard a person who wants to help our young people become the best they can be and contribute to the well being of our country and the world.
So why all the fuss? For adults, it seems to be all about politics and not about what is right or good. It is good for people to listent to their President, even if they disagree. If we are to heal open wounds of our country and contribute to some global healing, we will need to listen more openly, sincerely, and deeply to one another.
I for one liked his talk, agreed with his prinicples, and was impressed with his delivery and sincerity.
Let’s work together and have a more open and honest dialogue. As adults, let’s be better role models for our children.