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What If...

As we begin 2022 we are still facing:

  • a global pandemic that has an apparently more contagious variant (Omicron),

  • uncertainty in schools due to the Omicron variant, and

  • a world that is grieving the losses of inspiring people such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, bell hooks, Isamu Akasaki, Vicente Fernández, and so many more beloved people for all of us to mourn.

And I would ask you to consider some what if…questions, not in relation to the things that have already happened, but in a hopeful imagining of our individual and collective futures.

What if we individually and collectively commit to allow space for grief? As Reverend Michael Nuttall shared these thoughts about grief with Archbishop Tutu’s wife, Nomalizo Leah Shenxane Tutu, during the Archbishop’s funeral service:

Today we are here to try, in a small way, to wipe away your tears, though tears are, of course, a very necessary part of our grieving. Allow me to give you, and your family, a comment which was sent to me for my comfort and which I found helpful within the strange twists and turns of my grieving:

“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” (Earl Grollman)

Recently I spoke with a good friend about how all of us are doing as we continue to make our way during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the children and the adults in his school are all grieving yet are not given space to grieve collectively; not grieving collectively is hurting us all. How might we benefit from grieving? How might we gain collective strength in allowing our grief to be present?

What if we individually and collectively commit to allowing school to be transformed? Justin Michael Williams said it so very well during an event celebrating the New Year:

We change our minds. We change our clothing. We change our leaders. Change allows us to change back, but when we are transformed something is no longer available to us and that is what makes transformation scary for us.

How can we allow ourselves to let go of what does not serve us well in schools? How can we courageously collaborate to have authentic dialogues to hear what is working well? What is possible?

As we begin 2022, I invite you to share your what if…questions via the comments section for this blog and via social media. What if our questions inspire us individually and collectively to be transformed for the better?

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