Hope and Healing

A vision for all… I want to dance when I get big

April 15, 2010General

When my children were small, and things were “right” in their life – they danced. They danced a spontaneous dance of wholeness. They felt loved, fulfilled, part of a family. They danced because they had hope. It was a beautiful dance.

I once saw a picture of a little girl writing “I want to dance when I get big”. This girl dreamed of hope, love and of community. This girl dreamed of an adult life where she could dance. Like children everywhere who dance when they are happy, she wanted her life to fulfill that dream.

I envision a world where all children can dream of that dance!

I long for a world where a girl, blind and living in the slums of Calcutta; a boy in Malawi with cerebral palsy; a former child soldier in Uganda; or a girl in Sri Lanka whose foot was lost in a landmine – all dream of dancing when they get big – and knowing what that means. I long for all children, no matter where they were born, no matter what their ability, experiences, or trauma can share that dream of dancing. Imagine with me the images – a girl in Africa on crutches writing in the dirt with a stick; a boy living in an inner city in a wheelchair “tagging” the message on a wall; a girl who is blind writing in Braille; a boy who is deaf signing – each with the same message: “I want to dance when I get big”.

What would this mean – what would this take?

It might take the right music!

It was the music that made a difference to a group of children with disabilities in a remote village in Eastern Sri Lanka. They sat in tiny chairs facing us, their mothers behind them. None of the children would respond to questions. One mother mentioned that the children loved to dance but none volunteered – all were too shy and intimidated. Finally one of the center’s volunteers had an idea. She knew of one song that the children could not resist. At the sound of the first bar of that music, every one of those children – with no hesitation or inhibitions – rose to their feet and began to dance. Every one of those children danced – each in their own way; each with smiles on their faces. The right music freed them to dance.

I want all children in the world to dream of dancing when they get big.

Our task is to find the right music and crank up the volume!