A Helping Hand

Updated: Nov 4, 2018

Inclusive community carries such resounding power. Working with Purple Carrots is illuminating this truth in a deeply visceral way for me. When we tune into the unique needs and gifts of one another and become not only sensitive to them but begin to celebrate diversity, so, so much is possible. This week we worked on bringing our inner super hero to life! We began with warm up games to activate the whole body and tune into the space. One student was feeling quite tired this class and she was not joining the group activity. She would become easily distracted and have difficulty following along with the quick movements of her peers. The rest of the students were so enthralled in the activity, they didn’t notice that she was a little excluded. I was happy to sit beside her and gently encourage her to join us, to offer my hand to her and let her know how valued her presence and participation was. With companionship and guidance she became much more at ease with the flow of the group. However, when I stepped away to allow her independence, I noticed she would return to a state of isolation and uncertainty.

The next movement cue was to all run to one side of the room and sit down. This student remained at the opposite side of the room from her peers. The division in the space was very clear and silence seemed to fall over the room. As I was preparing to approach her and check in, a student from the other side spoke confidently and broke the silence by stretching out a hand and saying, “Hey Sarah! Are you coming?” Her face instantly shone with a smile of pure joy. She responded to this gesture of kindness and joined her friends with full excitement. Sometimes what we need more than anything else is encouragement from our friends and the genuine acknowledgement that our presence and participation is appreciated by our community.

By Michaela Bekenn.