Dear Teachers, Parents and Students of WECC training courses in China
I send you my heart-felt greetings and all the best of wishes from Australia! At moments of crisis such as the outbreak of the coronavirus, know that the whole world is with you, especially people who have come into contact with you, met you, worked and struggled with you – and loved you. For reasons of protection, of health and safety, we have to be segregated, with you no doubt feeling isolated and fearful and us, frustrated and helpless because we cannot reach you in person. It is important to remember though that these things are temporary and will pass, like grass in the wind. It is just a matter of waiting.
This waiting could be short, it could be long or very long. After all you have been waiting rather a long time already. Like it or not you have had to learn and practise being patient. I like to imagine what your life is like these past few months, and now. Schools are closed. Children stay home. Teachers missing their classes. Students wishing to return to their studies and their classmates. Not much going out except for short periods of limited food shopping. (When out in the streets everyone is heavily masked). Offices, companies and factories also closed so adults are home all day too. Most restaurants are shut. It is hard to imagine China without rows of restaurants bustling with customers eating, drinking, talking, laughing…
I want to stay connected with you whom I care for deeply. And this is the only way: through developing my imagination. I find the vivid colourful pictures of your life (especially those of the children laughing, playing) very comforting and reassuring. It gives meaning to what is happening somehow. I am sure you too, the people I know, have talked to, communicated with, heard about, had a glimpse of, you also have to use your imagination in this way to connect with and think of your dear friends and family who are likewise isolated within their own cities, towns, villages and homes. It is through imagination that we are capable of a true social life.
Then what do you do, parents and your young children scooped up in the confines of your apartments or houses? Are you cheerful, cooking, cleaning, eating, talking, playing together? Or are you sad, sitting there watching the news to see how many more casualties of the virus have been picked up? Children, especially young children, are by nature innocent, happy, positive. They live in the moment and are not ruled by fear of what will happen in the future. However they can become insecure and afraid if there is fear in the adults and in the immediate environment around them. In the face of these difficult circumstances, am I correct in believing that all parents in China would try their best to stay calm and positive to support their children?
I hope and wish that this isn’t the case, but if any family has met with the misfortune of being directly affected by the virus, my prayers and spirit are with you. May you have the strength to overcome it. There is meaning and purpose in everything. May we have help in finding them and may we be able to develop trust in the wisdom of what is happening so we can learn from it. And courage to go forward.
Children, especially young children, are by nature innocent, happy, positive. They live in the moment and are not ruled by fear of what will happen in the future. However they can become insecure and afraid if there is fear in the adults and in the immediate environment around them.