Last year, about 30 of our spirited and brave staff at school stepped onto the stage adorned in brightly coloured boas – wild and feathered and ready to entertain. These brave souls included newer teachers, more seasoned ones, males, females, experienced on the stage, and not. It was our annual ‘teacher act’ performance for the school’s spring show. We danced and sang to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. While I knew at the time that we had chosen this song for its powerful message, the extent to its power is really now only sinking in. Those 30 unique individuals had more than the job of entertaining our school community…they had the role of showing how distinct they were…how they were indeed, Born This Way. I regret ever having worried about controversial lyrics and what some of the parents in the audience might think. As I watched Lady Gaga in her Life Class interview with Oprah tonight, I could only see the beautiful, positive, intent that this song holds from Gaga and for the world.
My last blog post challenged some of the roles that the media plays in shaping young individuals’ minds. I argued that it is essential for kids to be presented with all different sides of the coin so that they could make informed decisions about their own lives and shape their belief systems on truths that sincerely resonate with them. Today I would argue however, that media has its place in the planet (like all other things) to be a vehicle for delivering some of the most important messages. I believe that many high profile celebrities are Born This Way, in order to have a platform for their important messages to the world.
Lady Gaga is no exception. At the mere age of 25, she is wise beyond belief and mirrors to us that essential message that we are all an image of perfection – we just came here to remember it!
Gaga draws on her experiences as a young child and teenager in order to fuel what she calls her ‘PASSION PROJECT,’ today. While in school, she was teased and tormented and even thrown into a garbage can to be humiliated in front of others. These remain as painful imprints in her memory even today but also gave her reason to create the “Born Bus,” – a bus that now travels as she tours and exists as a safe haven for other youth on this sometimes challenging but beautiful journey. Her mission, along with her devoted Mom, is to:
“ …foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world.
We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.” http://bornthiswayfoundation.org
Don’t you wish your teacher had taught that? I do. She is another one of our teachers on earth and what I appreciate most about her is that she walks her talk.
She also takes all perspectives into consideration. In a world where most individuals focus on the victim’s needs but never the bully’s, Gaga considers both. She recognizes that we must shift our focus and look inward at the internal culture of individuals and their behaviour…where does this behaviour come from and how can we adapt it? We need to love both the victim and the bully because their actions stem from something internally that needs to be addressed.
The truest versions of our souls do not wish to hurt others. If we are able to show the world our true selves without fear of humiliation or rejection, bullying would not exist and we would paint a picture of the most beautiful globe.
I’m sure there are individuals that are unable to get past the raw meat dresses, platform shoes, and risque behaviour, but that’s her angle. Gaga admits, “I hit the nerve. It’s like a volcano – it can’t erupt unless something goes haywire.” She understands that she cannot be in the backseat of an issue that is so pressing in our society. She just gets it. And thank goodness for that because she is helping to shift consciousness.
Whether you are prepared or not, this change of world consciousness is happening. Some had this awakening long ago and many others are just getting on board now. The when doesn’t really matter, it’s that you do get on board, that counts. With this, it’s amazing to be seeing like-minded celebrities stepping out of the shadows and using their fame to assist in delivering important messages. Media is taking on a whole new role.
Just the other day, my students and I attended a Toronto Marlies hockey game. It gave me great delight to see their use of media (the jumbotron) with such great purpose. Between each whistle a different coach or player came on the screen with an important message about bullying. Famous people have a strong influence.
Other famous individuals assisting in the change of consciousness come from people like Kiefer Sutherland and his counterparts in the new show Touch. They understand the reality of our new world and the importance of kids similar to his son in the show.
New examples of this shift are popping up all around us in the media and I hope to continue seeing it moving in this direction.
In the Life Class show Oprah expressed that she believes that every being comes to the planet with the inherit right to be him or her ‘self’. I couldn’t agree more; you were Born This Way for a reason and it is your birthright to be exactly who you are, to determine your passions, to express yourself, and to contribute to humanity through this truth.
I have found my very own ‘PASSION PROJECT’ through this site. It lights me up inside and out.
What is your ‘PASSION PROJECT’? and why were you Born This Way?
Thank you for your website and this wonderful post! I am a Lady Gaga fan too, more for her message than for her music. I have found my passion project in teaching as well and think that this site will be a great resource! Thank you for the inspiration.
It’s so wonderful to hear from a fellow like-minded teacher! Thank YOU for such a kind response. I agree, I am more of a fan for Gaga’s messages. Given your passion, I’m sure you make a fantastic teacher.
It’s amazing how much the world is seamlessly interlinking these days and how powerful it is for
Media – School – Music – Hockey – Twitter – Assemblies – Rock Stars – Talk Show Hosts – and so on… to reinforce important messages, like anti-bullying, through different mediums.
Your students are lucky they’ll never have to say they wish their teacher taught them these things – as I am sure your post reflects how you are connecting all the dots in the classroom. Good on ya!
What a beautiful commment. Thank you for your insight and depth. The world is certainly interlinking…I believe it always has but we are just waking up to it. Nothing is separate as we are all one. I am so excited to see this awakening with all the different facets of life. It will only continue to get more exciting. I appreciate your comment regarding my students…it truly is my purpose here 🙂
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