Living on this side of the equator, 50°52'23" North and 4°20'3" East to be more precise, I have been wanting to learn from good practices around the world. So far, I have been very lucky for having access to very inspiring examples. Amongst my favourite teachers are: my students, children, colleagues, friends, collaborators, teachers and many more... they really are the best practical and poetical handbooks existing.
Our community is going through a major visible and sensible change for the last couple of years now. Generosity -towards people and environment- is more then a priority. Though some citizens are defending other values first. I wonder what this deviation is leading us to.
Getting back to you, dear Faith, you surely do change the life of your learners on a big scale. You are giving them daily bread, a new breath also, and therefor you are feeding the community with fresh air. First of all, you and your collaborators are giving them litteral food: the basic necessity in order to exist.
Furthermore you offer them food for thought and the necessary platform to express their daily issues and theme's through music, theatre and dance.
Therefor, each of your learners will become a survivor with the possibility to construct the community in stead of destroying it... and themselves as well. You express this very poetically yourself: 'If you change one child, you change the whole country'. I would like to reply: 'Yes, If you can change one person, you change the entire world'.
Last week, I learned a lesson from the longest study on happiness, based on the question: 'What makes a good life?'. You can watch the outcome of this profound research by searching through the Ted Talks, or by copy-pasting this link:
Maybe, you already discovered this, maybe not yet. I wanted to share it with you, also because the reasearch has been done in both a wealthy environment as in places with poor conditions. And the outcome -Robert Waldinger confirms- is the same for all! The clearest message they get from this 75 year study is this: 'Good relationships keep us happier and healthier'. Apparently, social connections are very important, more than we tend to believe in the first place, while loneliness kills'. The quality of close relationships with family, friends and the community is what matters.
So, being said, all this little bit, I would like to ask you: 'Please keep on dreaming, going the way you do and keep on passing this healthy breath. It is a very generous act not only for your learners and the community around them, but also towards the world by sharing your experiences in whatever way.
And maybe, if this letter would really get into your 'hands' one day, it would be wonderful to make it a dialogue and to share experiences from either side of the planet. Therefor, I want to share a video, made from a masterclass (for theatremakers, teachers in the arts...) which I was co-teaching here in Belgium: https://vimeo.com/114509052
If you like the material, I could send you another few links of good practices which could be relevant to your work. I truly hope this really reaches you one day.
Getting back to all of you readers, whatever your profession and your life looks like, I hope your happiness increases this year through generous encounters...