Somewhere Over the Rainbow Is Right Here, Kids

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“The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom and joy in the universe are already within us; we don’t have to gain, develop, or attain them. We’re like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight, there’s no need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we already are – as soon as we stop pretending we’re small or unholy.”

~ Bo Lozoff

This quote reminds me of the scene from ‘The Wizard of Oz‘, when Dorothy, having survived the tornado of her life, wakes up and sees all that she has around her.   Things she previously worried about, people she loved, and those she feared had swirled together in her mind to create the most unimaginable drama, but when it came down to it, there was no place like home.

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...
Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the trailer for the film The Wizard of Oz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many times throughout my teaching day I find myself cheering on my students, telling them, “You are better than this. You are better than these grades.”  I think about how they must feel, lost in a world that judges them by accomplishment rather than individualism.  I wonder how I can teach them to close their eyes, to look inside, and realize that they, like Dorothy, have all they need in life. They just need to figure out how to harness it, how to jump on the power and energy and wonderfulness that life has to offer them, and soar above anything they have ever imagined.

I think if we can teach teenagers this – to stop pretending they are ‘small or unholy’ – that they not only have a huge future ahead of them, and that they have all they need to get there – if we can help them see the joy of life, we can create hope that somewhere over the rainbow really is right in their own backyard.

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe at jenniferwolfe.net.

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  1. I love this. I just read some stories of Thich Nhat Hahn’s to my children this past weekend, all of which conclude that everything we want is within us, and I was struck by how this idea resonated with them. They accepted it without question. I found myself thinking: how can I keep this belief alive in them?

    1. Lindsey, you pose a great question. I think first, by the very fact that we are considering and asking these questions, we begin to teach them that they have all they need. It is some sort of magic, for sure, to watch our children grow and change and develop the confidence that we always dreamed they would have. Thank you so much for writing. ~Jennifer

  2. “I think if we can teach teenagers this – to stop pretending they are ‘small or unholy – that they not only have a huge future ahead of them, and that they have all they need to get there – if we can help them see the joy of life, we can create hope that somewhere over the rainbow really is right in their own backyard.”

    Amen – and it all starts with connection and intention. Thank you for this wisdom, mamawolfe.

    1. Thank you, Dawn, for reminding me of the importance of intention. Deep inside we need to trust that we’re doing the right thing by our children, even when it’s tough. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. ~Jennifer

  3. I have two teens. One gets straight As without much effort. The other works his tail off to get Bs and an occasional A, yet he’s a really “smart” kid. It took him a long time to learn that his grades don’t reflect who he is. He goes to bed every night able to say he did his best and held nothing back. I’ve been told by many of his teachers that he is a joy to have in class, that he is incredibly self-possessed and comfortable in his own skin. He learned young to accept who he is and not try to be like everyone else. He’s my hero.
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