One of the things I enjoy most about subbing for elementary school children is what happens before our day even gets started. Each morning, after they put their belongings away and just before we begin class, they stand in unison, place their hands over their chests and recite The Pledge Of Allegiance. I usually stand to the side as I recite this with them so I can watch their faces. Then I smile at how strong their voices are and how serious they look as they recite the words.
I’ve always been curious about whether or not they really understood what they were reciting so I started asking a few students in different classes if they understood what some of these words meant. Words like allegiance, indivisible., republic, liberty and justice. As it turned out, they had a very clear understanding of what the words meant and what The Pledge meant to them and to our country. I was a little surprised but I guess I shouldn’t have been. After all, the wording is very simple and clear so understanding it shouldn’t be that difficult.
How sad and unfortunate then, that eight and ten year old children have a better understanding and appreciation of these words than any politician I’ve listened to in recent years. How sad and unfortunate that these same people, who have supposedly chosen a life of serving the public good is doing the most harm to those who don’t have a voice and whose lives may be most affected in the future by their actions today.
Ego, power and greed should not be the determining factors when seeking any kind of political office.
Maybe before a politician decides to run for office, they should sit in a classroom for a couple of minutes each morning and listen to the voices of those who really understand what it means to be an American.
If they have difficulty grasping the concept, I’m sure a eight year old will be more than happy to explain it to them.