Resolve To See
For the next couple of weeks, as the beginning of my school year approaches. I'm going to write to renew my resolve to keep focus in my practice. This is one of that series of posts.
I'm not sure that anybody has it harder in school than the invisible kids.
Bullied students are a subset of the invisible students. Bullied students are seen-but-not-really. They are seen for the one characteristic for which they are singled out and mistreated, but rarely seen as actual complete fully human beings.
There are also the students who are completely invisible. Unseen, unknown, just passing through the halls of the school. Their presence and their absence make the same impression on the people around them.
There's a sad but fair argument to be made that all of this invisibility is practice for the adult version, for entering the grown-up world where we talk past or at each other and simply reduce other people to just one or two characteristics, treating our fellow humans as if they are cartoon versions of human beings. We reduce the people we disagree with to gnarled caricatures. We reduce the people we don't mind being around to flat masks, one or two simple characteristics that we can quickly reference before we move on. And we reduce people that we don't want to bother with to nothing at all. Not even ignored, because you can only ignore something that you acknowledge is there. Just invisible.
I suspect it's easier for us to slip into that mode in school because we deal with a relatively narrow slice of humanity. I teach teenagers, and while there are some things that have changed over the decades, teenagers remain for the most part pretty teenagery. On top of that, certain physical and CURMUDGUCATION: Resolve To See: