“Why did the police officer squeeze his neck?”
This was the question my 8-year old asked us as my husband and I openly shared how George Floyd died in one of the most brutal ways a person could die. Throughout the week, my daughter’s question has been swirling through my head. And it wasn’t until this morning that it became clear why this was such an important question.
At Mindful Littles we believe EVERY human is born compassionate. Science backs this up, and it is a fundamental truth that we believe- that children are authentically courageously compassionate. So how does a person get to a point where they can place their knee, not for a moment, but for 8 minutes 46 seconds to brutally kill another? What is it that transpires in one’s life where they no longer can connect to that innate compassionate state? If all beings are born compassionate, how do we grow up to treat others as slaves, to oppress, to treat another as less than human?
As Mahatma Gandhi shared in his life’s message, it begins with each of us. It begins with our passive acts of violence, the ones we are not always conscious of, the ones that “don’t seem to hurt” – but it is these acts that fuel the fires of physical violence and unconscious behavior. At Mindful Littles we believe that we can teach our youth to find peace within themselves, and that if we can help children cultivate social consciousness and act from that innately compassionate state, our world will be more peaceful.
In the movement for racial justice, we know there is much work to be done by all to overcome the challenges ahead. For our part in this movement, Mindful Littles is committed to helping our youth deeply understand that Black Lives Matter and that:
A Black life is a HUMAN life to be LOVED. A Black life is a HUMAN life to be LOVED.
How do we do that at Mindful Littles?
First, it starts with my personal commitment, as a mother and a leader, to learn from the Black community, to connect with allies, to become more aware of the key issues of racial injustice so that I can lead from a self-aware and informed space. This year I will be working closely with the Transformative Education Leadership (TEL) cohort, which is a group of national leaders who strive to create systemic transformation in education by focusing on the integration of equity, social-emotional learning (SEL) and mindfulness.
Second, our Mindful Littles education programs will continue to break barriers and build bridges by:
- Humanizing One Another – From black people, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups. We will continue to help our youth empathize with and understand the stories and lives of our societies most vulnerable populations.
- Connecting Communities – We will continue to build programs that enable communities to come together and immerse so we can learn and appreciate our differences and similarities.
- Fostering a Foundation of Inner Peace – We will continue to help our youth and the adults around them to practice mindfulness and self-compassion to provide the necessary foundation for inner peace.
I share my heart with the Black community and I am so very sorry for the pain that you have endured for far too long.
Mindful Littles stands by you as an ally committed to creating a more racially just and compassionate future. We are committed to creating a world where different hearts are united as one.
With peace and light,
Tanuka and the entire Mindful Littles Team