I was teaching kindergarten at the time when a student, just shy of five, refused the Pledge of Allegiance. I respected his reasons although I didn’t ask, until there was time.
While sitting on an uncomfortably tiny hard child-size chair, I asked him, “Why?” He, now as tall as me could see into my eyes with his almond-shaped, liquid-brown pools of transparency.
My sweet tiny Buddha-like friend unabashedly held my hands. (Kids are like that. Love to be close and feel safe.)
I held by breath because I just knew he was going to say something profound and he did.
“You already know why.”
Thankfully, I was sitting because he was right. He shared a little more, far more than an ordinary child turning five. He explained so much in such a tiny space and it triggered my thoughts into this:
The colors of the flag ring out with clarity. Red, for the continued bloodshed. White, for innocence, respect and wisdom not always seen in all the colors, genders & religions representing our land. Stars – never enough for all who shine. And the blue – damn, I could feel the jazz of the Blues singing ever so deeply in the rivulets of tears running through all of our veins.
We never spoke of it again. Didn’t need to but thereafter when we pledged our allegiance, he stood by my side and we always smiled with our eyes.