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After the recent Kansas City Attunement Session Zoom call where Donna Jorgensen presented the message from White Eagle, a Hopi Indigenous, I spent some time thinking about and holding in Attunement, my students. I teach high school in a Kansas City suburb. We speak of hope a lot in high school, and what we can accomplish, but very little prepared me for the scope of what Covid-19 would ask for – both from me and from the community which I serve.
We began the school year remotely. I was invited into the homes of my students. For many, this was too much intimacy to have with their teachers, so they chose to conduct class with their cameras off. I felt like I was teaching into the void. I conducted my class as if I could see their faces, making sure I asked each student how they were doing and what we could do to make things work. The school year progressed.
Then the students came back to school, although only one day a week. For four weeks I got to know my students personally. It was humbling, eye-opening, gratifying, and a new kind of struggle – but we all understood we are in this together and together we continued forward.
After student after student and teacher after teacher either was quarantined or came down with Covid – the school began to address the real issue of not enough staff to continue in-building school. We were informed that after Thanksgiving, all middle and high school students would go back to remote. Together the students and I grieved. I began to understand in a new way the nourishment humans get from being with one another. Spiritually we feed each other with words of encouragement, hugs, moments of grace granted and received.
I spent time with each class suggesting that they find the radical act of joy – even in their isolation. We practiced imagining what beauty we could find, even in our small spaces, even in our day after day of video classes. I told them about White Eagle, and I quoted him to my students, “You do not help at all being sad and without energy. You help if good things emanate from the Universe now. It is through joy that one resists. Also, when the storm passes, each of you will be very important in the reconstruction of this new world.”
I cannot stress enough how difficult the isolation this pandemic is for our young people. As an adult, I have a sense of the other side, that “this too, shall pass.” Our young adults right now know only loss. They cannot gather, they cannot have prom, they cannot walk across the stage. So many rites of passages are being denied to them – and they are hurt and angry. And yet – this is exactly why it is so important for there to be voices that use joy to radically resist. People, young, old, and in-between, need to hear hope. As Martin Cecil said in “The Means of World Service,” – “Service — that is what it is, and that is what we are here to do. We are here to play our part in the design by which this service is rendered; and we only discover what that design is, we only know our placement in it, to the extent that divine identity is accepted and expressed.”
So, it is an act of Service to express what joy there is in life, to extend an authentic hand and heart to those around us, to hold our world in Attunement and to emanate that confidence in the Divine Design. The world needs to hear our voices of hope, of joy, of love resonating with the character of integrity, honesty, and compassion. I know my students do, and they respond in kind. As one student informed me, there is now a “Ms. Rivers fan club.” Let love radiate.