How can we make sure there’s room here for everyone to be who they are? How do I act in a way that lets people (both myself and everyone else) be who they are, with all their heart, mind, and strength? At Makom Community we value creating a space where we show love and feel loved. One way we do that is by creating a Brit, a two–way promise, that outlines our expectations for how we treat each other at Makom Community. Here is what your inspiring kiddos came up with this year:
- Speak with respect
- Only one voice at a time (OOVAAT)
- Give each other the benefit of the doubt
- Treat the space with respect
- Think before we move
- Check in before touching—respect the response
- Be yourself
- Help each other
- Include everyone
- Love each other
We accumulated a big list of 60 or so ideas of things to include in our Brit. These ideas were largely inspired by the words of Shema, and fell into three categories:
- How we use our bodies.
- How we are loving.
- How we speak and listen.
Some gems from that big list that we ended up consolidating into broader terms include:
- Give hugs
- Use our eyes/all our senses to take in information in lots of ways
- Great each other warmly
- Show gratitude
- Treat people the way they want to be treated
- Be learners, be teachers
- Ask thoughtful questions
We spent some time unpacking why “be yourself” is an important element to include in the Brit. What does being yourself have to do with how we take care of each other at Makom Community? Here are some ideas about how being ourselves helps our community.
- I’m a leader sometimes
- I love to make jokes
- I like sports
- I like to share
We are painting these values right on the walls of Makom Community where we can see them every day. We put the Brit in a heart for V’ahavta—“We will love”—the first word from the first paragraph of Shema. In thinking about the symbols from Shema, in particular the ones that help us remember our promises and values, we thought of Mezuzot. Your kiddos made their Brit signatures modeled after Mezuzot, putting their names inside empty marker cases covered with model magic. We also talked about ways we could remember the Brit as we go through our days and decided that the mantra “loved” would be helpful. We decided to put that word on bracelets that we can wear and remember our Brit.
Here are pictures of our murals-in-progress. Stay tuned for pictures of the final product!