Last week I had the privilege to visit Washington, D.C. with our 6th graders. It is a fantastic city to introduce our students to the importance of compromise and cautious judgments. Everywhere there is a reminder that human nature is a fickle thing, but we are stumbling toward our better selves.
Our students could not walk through the city without wrestling with how discouraging and inspiring our country is. We would come across an assembly of free speech whose message we might vehemently disagree with while also being deeply grateful that they are allowed to do it.
We would visit statues honoring titans of courage and vision, knowing that some of them benefitted from the institution of slavery.
We offered our respects at war memorials, celebrating heroes while questioning the need for war.
We understood our history can both be celebrated and deplored.
Then we stood there on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his I Have A Dream Speech. We looked beyond the reflection pool to the Washington Monument.
I felt grateful to be in our nation’s capital with our 6th graders. Our minds were filling up with questions there were no easy answers to. Any attempt would require us to compromise our assumptions and be cautious with our judgements.
Have a thoughtful weekend.