As in many schools, our school has adopted a number of mindfulness practices. Each day students start their day with a mindfulness strategy. The repetition of this practice overall has been positive for students. Many educators also employ a number of positive mindfulness strategies in their classroom teaching and efforts, and similarly these efforts have resulted in students' ability to be attuned to their feelings and the world around them.
I have been carefully watching the inclusion of mindfulness and how it is used. I am a big fan of using mindfulness to help clean the mind and make people attuned to the world around them. I believe there is much to learn and gain here with regard to living and loving well. However, I am not a fan of using mindfulness to silence or blame people--being mindful does not mean negating issues of injustice and problems that occur. True mindfulness gives us a way to observe, think about, discuss, and solve problems like these.
As I think about human nature and the signals human nature gives us with regard to serving one another well, I am thinking that mindfulness that helps us to be sensitive to and see the needs of others is essential.
For example when we see people act with struggle, we can question rather than blame, shame, redirect, or right. We can say, I wonder why you would do that or What is the purpose of that action? Questioning is very powerful in this regard--when we question, we give individuals a chance to tell us who they are and what's important to them without our commentary or opinion. Questions is a powerful medium for letting the truth and humanity rise.
Of course as with any revelation, one has to swallow a large dose of humility. Big learning is humbling as it helps us to realize the unknowing we thought was truth before. The best learning makes us vulnerable, yet we have to realize that all who hope to learn are vulnerable too and we are not alone in this journey of living and loving well. Onward.