I want to go back
They say memories are
what really matter
But I want to go back
to classrooms shaped by
women and men from afar
Places I’ve never visited
How narrow we’ve become today
in our virtually segregated schools and
with unfamiliar cuisines or clothes
and customs that give us away as strangers
not friends or even neighbors
Years of serving seminarians in
multinational multiethnic classrooms
turned my small world upside down
You helped make me the woman
I now am sitting here at home
wishing for just one more class
So you can show up and teach me
What I need to know today
Before it’s too late to dream
I’m feeling a bit nostalgic these days. Also heavy-hearted about what we’re becoming as a nation. It seems curiosity about the world and about people who don’t look, act or vote the way we do isn’t as interesting as it used to be. In fact, it seems easier to ignore each other. Look the other way.
When I was still teaching at seminary, diversity made everything more exciting. Granted, it wasn’t always easy for any of us.
Nonetheless, it opened up opportunities to re-examine our assumptions and broaden our knowledge. Not just about the subject matter, but about the way we dealt with each other.
Are we losing touch with our humanity? Is that possible?
I don’t want to be a robot, or a puppet on strings controlled by other human beings. Or by the ups and downs of the stock market, or the latest headlines in scandal magazines. Nor do I want to be locked into my own small world because of fear or unexamined assumptions.
This morning I received my second Covid-19 shot. The room was filled with people who didn’t look or act like me. I wonder. Would they be interested in an informal discussion group? There’s so much I wish I understood better…..
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 March 2021
Image found at ceu.edu