A writer questions why children are instructed to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and what toll the veneration of power can take:
For most of my life I’ve felt that I could not in good faith perform the Pledge of Allegiance. I do put my hand over my heart with other intentions: first and foremost to notice or study the cadence of my heartbeat. A yoga instructor in a video or a meditation teacher on an app encourages placing a hand over the heart and sometimes I follow. The action is also a gesture indicating I am overwhelmed whether by joy or sorrow.
I still struggle with the idea of “pledging allegiance” to anything. I’m wary that pledging my allegiance means I’m giving up something, a sense of freedom or autonomy, though when I think it through, there’s a certain freedom to be gained when I am most clear about where my allegiances lie.