In the 90s as a middle school teacher, I assisted a bit in the production, as much as my talents allowed, of the play version of Marlo Thomas and friends’, “Free to Be You and Me “. I remember that the kids really enjoyed it as did I. Listening to sound bites of the songs brought up thoughts of changes facing children today.
Still in the same school in 2001, but as a supervisor, we were faced with the terrorism that day that the plane flew into the World Trade Center. Not far from New York City, we had a number of parents working there and for several hours, spent time locating them for terrified children. Where outcomes were devastating all around us, all of our parents were located alive and well by the end of the day. For one reason or another, they had not made it into the city that morning. For our students, a day of miracles. But I think that was the beginning of fear based living that has quietly permeated some of our society. Certainly it has drawn other negative fearful incidences to everyday life and removed that freedom to be, that was gaining strength.
Be wary! Be careful! Isn’t that dangerous? Is that safe? The vocabulary of fear is here. Don’t run, you’ll fall! Be careful! Watch out! I don’t remember this as a child. We rode bikes along the road for miles and miles. We played outside without supervision for hours. I remember one scary episode around age 10 at the Jersey shore. I was playing in the surf by myself with a small blow up inner tube. Don’t remember what I was trying to do, but I got the tube stuck behind my head and back with my arms and shoulders trapped inside the hole just when a wave hit and knocked me down. I was powerless to help myself, face down in the water without arms. I couldn’t roll over because the tube blocked me. As terror began to fill me, I was yanked up to a standing position and the tube ripped off. There was my mother who had been watching me all the time. I learned many lessons that day, many of which I probably am consciously unaware. The lessons were mine to learn, and although it is not a pleasant memory, I believe it made me a better mother, teaching me to let them experience life while watching from a short distance unencumbered by the vocabulary of fear.
That lesson is especially important today as there is so much more negativity and fear than ever before. Remove those words of fear, let them explore within the boundaries that may be necessary. Keeping watch, ever mindful that the greatest parent and His winged staff are ever present awaiting your awareness. Fear or love? That is the choice- love of God, faith in His protection, belief that you and your children are always in His hands, and gratitude- so much gratitude for the safety that surrounds them. Or you can choose fear.
The world is full of experiences- joyful, exhilarating opportunities to do and to be and so much is missed because of fear. Fear of injury or judgment prevents living life to its fullest. Isn’t it time to remove the vocabulary of fear, and once again teach children we are all “Free To Be You and Me”?
About the Author
Beth Hoffman has a master’s degree in education, and after more than thirty years as a teacher and administrator in New Jersey public schools, she is now retired, giving her time to pursue interests in angels, energy healing and living from the heart. She has studied Reiki, IET (integrated energy therapy), angel therapy, and Magnified Healing. She and her husband reside in the Lake Wallenpaupack area of the Poconos in Pennsylvania where they are blessed to spend time with their grandchildren, one of the inspirations for this book.