There is an African proverb, “To go fast, you must go alone. To go far, we must go together.” This describes what community and connection means to me on a very intimate level. Yet, the question that still begs to be answered is how do we find a way to connect with each other when we live in such separate and divided communities? How do we acknowledge and let go of the assumptions and stereotypes that we’ve accumulated about those who live outside our familiar communities and who are ethnically and culturally different from ourselves? How do we break the cycle of fear and distrust, so that we can come together authentically in friendship and connection?
These are but a few of the important issues that are needed to be talked about before we can truly come together as a school, a nation, as a community and in our personal relationships. We cannot keep talking about each other without giving voice and hearing those we have been taught to be afraid of or to avoid.
There is no shortcut in the journey to create community and connection with those who we do not know or understand. We each must take the time to walk each other home.
“Once a seed has been planted and the dream of a better world is experienced, we can never go back. The heart wants more because it has seen what can be possible. No good dream has ever died, it has only gone asleep, waiting for one day to be awakened again.” Anonymous