So you’ve watched “Where is Everybody?” and hopefully have been thinking about it, and have been considering the main theme of the story of what being isolated does to us as humans. Perhaps you’ve acted on my kind action suggestion and have reached out to someone you see as being isolated.
In terms of inspiration, I want to point you to a brilliant book written by a brilliant teacher, Vivian Paley. The book is called “You Can’t Say You Can’t Play,” the title taken from a rule she imposed on her kindergarten class one year. The book is Vivian’s telling of the what happened as she first contemplated, interviewed others about (including children in older classes), and then implemented the rule.
As you think about the challenges of isolation, think back to when you may have forced isolation on another. Have you ever used the “silent treatment,” or some form of it, to ignore someone with whom you were angry? If this question touches you in some way, maybe there is something kind you can do for anyone you’ve ever ignored in this way, even for just a minute.
Here’s a summary of “You Can’t Say You Can’t Play” for your further inspiration:
Who of us cannot remember the pain and humiliation of being rejected by our classmates? However thick-skinned or immune to such assaults we may become as adults, the memory of those early exclusions is as palpable to each of us today as it is common to human experience. We remember the uncertainty of separating from our home and entering school as strangers and, more than the relief of making friends, we recall the cruel moments of our own isolation as well as those children we knew were destined to remain strangers. In this book Vivian Paley employs a unique strategy to probe the moral dimensions of the classroom. She departs from her previous work by extending her analysis to children through the fifth grade, all the while weaving a remarkable fairy tale into her narrative description.
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