Not in our name.

Sometimes re-framing is a demolition job. It can be a lot of hard work. Image found on sheribarbre.blogspot.com. Click to view source.
Sometimes re-framing is a demolition job. It can be a lot of hard work. Image found on sheribarbre.blogspot.com. Click to view source.

I.
I try to teach my students to care. To care about each other and that, in order to do so, we need to go outside of ourselves. It is probably one of the more difficult things I try to do, and it isn’t always something I do explicitly. It is in our actions together, it is in hearing their stories when they are arguing or sad or hateful and then re-framing them to see them from the other’s perspective – because there is always an other in these stories.

…She’s such a …. I hate her, him, them. She, he, they think they are hot shit. If he doesn’t stop I’m going to have to get him. She thinks she’s all that just because she…

It is in trying to get them to talk to each other but more importantly to listen to each other. With some of my students, I get the sense that empathy, sharing, and caring are truly foreign to them and so I need to work all that much harder to re-frame their stories and push them toward a caring future.

II.
On January 7, 2009 8 Jewish women occupied the Israeli consulate in Toronto to put pressure on the Canadian Government to withdraw support from Israel. To show their disgust, their outrage at the ongoing assault against the people of Gaza. To show how abhorrent the idea is that Israel’s actions are being done in our name, in the name of Jews.

We are Jewish women, not in our name.
Shame on Canada, shame on Israel.
These are war crimes.
Not in our name.

I found this video, documenting the protest, on the Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) blog.

III.
So why does this video remind me of my students? Or rather, lend me to think about them? My hope is that somehow my constant re-framing of stories will help to lead my students toward a future of questioning, of wondering why things are happening, and of trying to re-frame the stories that don’t sit right with them. I hope to see a student I taught in a video like this one day, trying to re-frame a story that isn’t right.

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