Skip to Main Content

Thoughts While Watching Inauguration: Kindness, Being Represented, and Unity

Thoughts While Watching Inauguration: Kindness, Being Represented, and Unity
18 Feb 2021 by Fern Katz

Dear Friends,  

 “And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.”  Amanda Gorman

 I am writing this on the day of the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with many thoughts running through my head. No matter where our political ideals lie, which side of the aisle we are on, who we supported in the presidential race, or how we feel about the past four years; it is a time of change- a time for a change.

 My first thought today: I have wondered over the past four years, really missed more than wondered – kindness. Where did the kindness go? We used to have kind people as leaders. How did we get away from kindness? We have witnessed behaviors in adults that we usually see in toddlers. Temper tantrums, name-calling, untrue stories that are told as if they are true, etc. As directors and teachers, we know that the tone of the organization, school, classroom, is set at the top. If we treat our coworkers, children, and families with respect, compassion, and kindness it will likely spread. A change we desperately need in our country.

 Another thought as I watched the news clips today: I am represented! We are represented! You may have seen the meme “A Catholic, a Woman of Color, a Teacher, and a Jew walk into the White House. No punch line. Just amazing progress.” A woman, a teacher, a Jew—that’s me! If you are reading this, you likely wear at least one of those labels, too. For the first time, I feel that some of our country’s leaders know me, what I believe, what I think is important.  This was a long time in coming, a change we have waited for and are ready to embrace.

 And my final thought at the end of the day: The Hill We Climb, a poem by Amanda Gorman. I was mesmerized listening to her read the phenomenal poem she wrote for the inauguration. If you haven’t heard it yet, I am sure it is online. It is well worth the time. In a poem of unity, a poem for all of us, Gorman writes, “If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.” ECE-RJ is on this journey.  Change--our children’s birthright.