What’s the version of no “student shaming” during COVID-19?
Ive had a lot of phone calls this weeks.
Many of them began as gracious check ins,
timely social connections,
and yet almost all of them
have turned towards something familiar,
and not as obvious.
When people think crisis,
they hear sirens.
They invoke a feel of emergency
sounds like an emergency.
It’s called an emergency.
Maybe there’s crying,
shortness of breath,
a call to action,
briskly avoided moments of silence.
Sometimes emergencies are these things.
Sometimes crises are these things.
And other times,
they’re only those things
after our support venture has ended.
At the time when we can be seen,
we might go to great lengths to hide.
One thing that crisis work
has taught me is that almost without exception,
people do not hand over
their emergency states freely.
Everything it turns out,
still moves at the speed of trust.
People in crisis fall into that everything group.
when I don’t yet trust you with something —
might I sound when I’m teetering on a crisis?
I might overcorrect, in sociability and kindness.
I might overextend, in explanation and tasks.
I might over budget, in time and energy.
I might underestimate
what feels vulnerable.
I might tolerate everything
better than my feelings or my vulnerability.
I might talk myself into and out of circles.
I might bite the insides of my cheek.
I might curl the bones on the top of my feet that allow me to disappear my toes into a bend.
I might ask you how you’re doing,
and find refuge in a caring role.
When it comes to being in school, like being in a job or a part of a family, trust builds slowly.
There can be a tendency to conflate
with safe spaces and commonality.
slow trust building,
and those inviting labels
trigger our reclusion.
What might I sound like when I’m in crisis?
In this time of churning and shifts,
we owe it to ourselves
to become adept listeners.
To use labels that build trust,
and respect people.
To use labels that reflect global crisis,
and inadequate support.
To use labels that make it easier to be seen
while we enter
and navigate crises.
Do you imagine yourself trusted?
Do you imagine yourself trusting?
Do you navigate feeling neither?
When an environment is mutable,
something has to be constant.
I agitate us all to take some inventory,
and receive critique,
so we can gain capacity.
I instigate myself to use the words I have
to hold up mirrors.
I suspend my cynicism to place
more faith in collectivism,
as I center a barometer of trust.
Because I know the question is not —
will, or when, or why will I we be in crisis.
The question is whether we will tell anyone.
May we remember that trust can’t be assumed,
anymore than things can take
than they require.
May we be open to this call towards learning.
The same call, whether or not we can answer.