Monday, February 22, 2016

Who are you voting for?

We have a running joke in our house that should a certain potential presidential candidate manage to somehow become our next president, the Mavin family is going to become Canadian.

I'm pretty sure some of us are joking less than others of us.

(I for one am voting for a warmer C word choice. Costa Rico starts with C. Just sayin'.)

Last week I had one of my young students ask me who I was voting for for president. I, as I always do, simply said "I'm not sure yet," to which he then replied with who he and his mom are supporting. Internally cringing, but externally smiling, I simply said "Oh," and moved on to help another student. The very next day, in passing in the hallway, I had a second, slightly older student ask me the exact same question, after which he tried to guess who I would support. He got the same none answer I offered up student #1. Obviously even though the Iowa caucuses are several weeks in the past, political discussions are still very alive and kicking here in good ol' Iowa.

I, generally speaking, try to avoid discussions about politics like the plague. (Which I've established here several times before while talking about politics. Eh.) Partially I really, honestly have very little to ZERO interest in politics. (Which I know some people find appalling. I won't hold that against you.) Partially because more times than not my opinions and the opinions of those around me, be it family or friends, are rarely the same and I don't see any point in participating in argumentative conversations for the simple sake of arguing one's point.

Going through my second presidential election cycle since becoming an elementary school employee, I've learned it's best, at least at the elementary school level, simply not to engage with students in politically based discussions. While I am happy our young students are at some level aware of current affairs, I have sadly heard the nasty, hurtful comments they are so quick to fling at each other when opinions differ. I am sure those comments are simply reflections of conversations they have heard at home, but I still find it disheartening that we as a society are simply ensuring that using hurtful, hateful language in political discussions will continue to be the norm when we engage in those type of conversations with the spongy little absorbent brains of our kiddos hovering around ready to soak it all in for eventual regurgitation. 

I for one choose not to bring that type of language into our home or my learning spaces. I'm still going to believe that it IS possible to have differing opinions and still be kind and respectful to one another. That someday we as a human race will be able to check our egos at the door and recognize the many more ways that we are connected to each other and to the world around us, rather than focus on the very few differences that we currently allow to stand in the spotlight to justify our hurtful, harmful words and actions towards others. That by practicing compassion and respectfully agreeing to disagree, sensible compromises can be made that benefit our society, and our planet, as a whole.

Who knows, come this time next year, depending on what happens in November's election, I might find my  home and learning spaces have moved to Canada and/or that my opinion of "local" politics will have changed. I guess we will just have to see how this politically based American comedy of an election year plays out.

(I highly doubt my opinions about politics have much of a chance of shifting anytime soon. Though I'm not giving up hope on talking others into that other, more southerly located,  C location option if we have to find a new country of residence!)


1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Canada has the advantage of having lots and lots of sweater weather! I may move, too, depending on the November outcome....