By Laura E. Alvarez
All of us. All of us have struggles and revelations, and we have things to share with each other. In the same day I listened to Holocaust survivors tell their stories, I guided and watched inner city youth make art about the stories and ask the survivors questions. In the same day I traveled back to “not the inner city” and attended a mom’s council – as a mom. Mothers of middle school kids got together to talk about issues they’ve struggled with over the past year with their children. I think I can be respectful of “what is said in the council stays in the council” when I share my revelations of that day. Let’s make this short and sweet. In all cases throughout the day I was stunned by how brave everyone was, how brave they were to share their stories, their questions, their creative expression about something so serious, so precious to them. At the end of the day, I realized once again that we are all the same person. Regardless of age, what kind of car we drive, where we grew up, when we open our hearts, something magic happens in the room. Just like the youth in that classroom downtown that asked the elders for hugs at the end of their story-telling, more than one mom at the other end of the freeway said they wanted to “hug everyone in the room” after hearing all their stories. See? A heart-flower opening leading to another heart-flower opening. I also realized once again that everyone has something to teach each other. Even an inner city youth to a mom in not in the inner city. He has something to show her, even. It’s true! All of us.