A part of The Peaceful Project's Community in Unity Program centers on respect for self and others. It means seeing yourself and others from their highest place, which could be higher than the vision the person has of themselves in that moment. It means speaking respectfully to others as well as internally, having respectful self-talk. There is also accountability for behaving in a way that reflects one's highest self. The best example of this in action was shared by a teacher at a school we had recently visited. I love this story!
The fourth grade teacher was aware that a one of her students was coming to class with a shaved head. The student's mother had shaved her head because her daughter didn’t wash her hair. [The mother's reaction is an entirely different topic.] The teacher made all of the students aware of what happened before the young girl got to school, and everyone in the class welcomed her warmly. There was one student who didn't hear the teacher's explanation of what had happened to his classmate because he had arrived to class late. When he saw the girl with the shaved head, he began to mock her. Two students rose and stood between the girl and the boy who was mocking her. The two students literally quoted the trust agreement that we had done in the workshop, holding the boy accountable for his agreement to respect his fellow classmates, reminding him that mocking her was not respectful. The teacher was thrilled with their leadership and that they handled the classroom conflict without her intervention.
That is the power of Community in Unity! I invite you to support our work by making a contribution to The Peaceful Project on May 11th, GiveSTLDay. Simply click here to reach our page with the St. Louis Community Foundation.