Most days, when you see a group of ISPS students, they all pretty much look alike.
At least they all are wearing the same thing.
a cloak of equality that wipes away the superficial rating of each other by what you are wearing, where you bought it, how much you spent on it, and how you flaunt it.
Everyone fits in, and their true inner selves are somehow more inclined to shine.
Not to mention the ease of getting ready in the morning. No fashion angst.
Looking at a crowd of students in their matching blue and khaki outfits, you might not realize the diversity that we have here.
There is special day where the school, and the students, not only celebrate their diversity, but flaunt it.
On the opening day of International Week, each student gets to wear something that represents who they are and where they come from. In Nicole’s class alone, there were outfits from the countries of Belgium, Barbados, India, Texas, Peru, Nigeria, the United States, and Venezuela.
Our school mascot is, of course, the caiman. And the caiman spirit this year, is held up by students from 56 different countries.
Argentina, Austrailia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, St. Lucia, Scotland, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Trinidand & Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam.
There was a representative from each country that got to carry his or her flag, in a United Nations Style Flag ceremony which launches International Week with flourish..
Here we see Azergbajan and Austraila waiting for their turn to go on.
Each country received enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.
For that proud moment, as each country’s representative held their flag earnestly,
so happy to be holding up their patriotism and showing us where they come from,
and parading it through the crowd so confidently,
One by one,
they were the stars.
One by one,
they received love and respect
in the form of applause and smiles
and in many cases, tears.
I was reminded of Swami Chidvilasananda’s quote that says
“The sunrise of supreme bliss shimmers
in every particle of the universe.
So why not drink a fresh cup of joy every day
and become inspired with new perception.
Remember, love and respect
much be renewed with each dawn.”
It was something else
to see at least for this moment,
the peaceful and wholehearted
celebration of each child,
of each country
no matter which flag they carried.
And the wholeheartedness
with which they carried
their patriotic banners.
Wholeheartedness is a precious gift, but no one can actually give it to you.
You have to find the path with heart and then walk it impeccably…
It’s like someone laughing in your ear,
challenging you to figure out what do when
you don’t know what to do.
It humbles you.
It opens your heart.
Thank you to all of you children
who walked that wholehearted path; flag in hand.
You helped to open our hearts,
to humble us,
to serve up this fresh cup of joy and
you made the universe shimmer
just a little more brightly;
we all know this universe can use it.