And a child shall lead them

I recently attended an open house at my granddaughter’s school. There was a fascinating tour of the school conducted by my granddaughter, who is in Grade Four, that included the library, art room and a computer facility where they can make their own videos. I also saw her math notebooks, heard poetry, inspected a history project and heard a lot of unfamiliar wordage such as “unit of inquiry” that seemed to mean an essay or project.

Some of the units of inquiry looked pretty complicated for her age, but she pulled everything off with aplomb. What an education our young people are getting today! All I remember from Grade Four is the teacher pulling on my ear when I did something wrong. I’m not saying my misbehaviour was daily, but all too often.

After the schoolwork had been proudly displayed there followed a concert in the auditorium by the two Grade Four classes with tunes on the recorder as well as songs. One of the songs brought tears to my eyes. Called “Don’t Laugh at Me,” it was about tolerance and love. I’m sorry to say I’d never heard the song before but delighted I did that day. What made me happier yet, the song and the behaviour described are being taught at school. 

“Don’t Laugh at Me” was first released in 1998 by country artist Mark Wills and the chorus goes as follows: Don’t laugh at me/Don’t call me names/Don’t get your pleasure from my pain/In God’s eyes we’re all the same/Someday we’ll all have perfect wings/Don’t laugh at me.

In an era when bullying is all too common in the playground and young girls are being kidnapped in Africa by the dozens, this song has particular meaning and resonance. If only everyone knew the words and subscribed to the message, what a wonderful world this would be.

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