Quote is taken from the movie Breakthrough
Last night we attended the Vigil to light a candle in solidarity against the Poway hate crimes. Despite the fear of terror, the community united with outpouring love, compassion, and support by neighbors, strangers, public officials and organizations across all faiths.
Rabbi Goldstein shared the terrifying moments and the tragic loss of a dear friend and community member, Lori Kay. The Rabbi reminded us that Vigil could have been his funeral. His words served as wake-up call to remind us the human frailty and life fragility.
Most importantly, Rabbi Goldstein infused hope as he shared his meaningful conversation with President Trump. The President shared his condolence, his love of peace, Judaism and Israel. When the President asked Rabbi Goldstein what could be done to stop hate; the Rabbi shared the importance of introducing a moment of silence in schools to reduce hate crimes.
When we returned home last night, I received an email from a dear friend, Gloria, who is also has been an educator in for over 25 years. She expressed her sadness and disgust with hate crimes. She then asked a series of bewildered open-ended questions:
Although these were seemingly rhetorical questions, similar to the question raised by President Trump, where Rabbi Goldstein suggested a ‘moment of silence’ in schools.
My dear friend concluded with an inspiration that “we have to continue spreading our love for one another and raising kids who are respectful and tolerant.”
Yes, I believe we all agree on spreading love and being tolerant and respectful. But now I have a few questions:
I ran leadership development workshops for women, youth, couples, and corporate. One thing was evident to me that even simple words like ‘respect’ or ‘integrity’ have many interpretations and belief system associated with them that trigger emotions and actions.
So how do we develop tolerance when there are conflictive values and beliefs systems?
My friend asked ‘when’ and I ask ‘what’ and ‘how.’ We collectively must continually to ask that our K-12 education system mandate practical and meaningful curriculum on human development. Human development curriculum to focus on life skills, character development, ethics and morals, vice and virtues, style of communications, problem resolutions, decision making, social-emotional skills and more.
“Yesterday is not ours to recover.” But hate crimes can be reduced with a real commitment integrated with diverse expertise and collaborative spirit to educate and guide our next generation with love and compassion. We must keep asking, what, how, when and who with hope that “tomorrow is ours to win.”