Let the Children Lead Us

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By Leah Grady Sayvetz, Ithaca, NY. 3/14/18

This morning, March 14, I woke late and as I looked at the numbers 9:24 on the clock I remembered that today is National School Walkout Day. At 10am, the students from the middle/high school across the street from my house would be leaving school, walking out of class as part of a nationally coordinated protest for an end to gun violence. I wanted to be with them. Thirty-five minutes later, as I stepped out of my front door, my breath caught in my chest: hundreds of children clad in coats and boots filed silently past. They filled the snowy sidewalk as far as I could see, many carrying signs drawn with colored markers on pieces of large white paper. My first instinct was to cheer, to encourage the students, to let these youngsters know how proud of them I am. But each small face passed me by in solemnity; a quiet, focused march through the falling snow. Their spirit drew me, then, into reverence. I fell in step with the crowd, following in silence, letting the children lead. The beanie-clad heads before and behind me rose no higher than my chest. I felt a deep sense of humility to be following the lead of such little ones. Today the children are showing us where we need to be.

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