Thanksgiving 2016

Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday.

Worn-out Wednesday. (Okay, I might have made that one up.)

It’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? Yet sometimes the banality of life’s daily routine can shock us out of our paralysis.

Even in a year which I will be glad to see the end of, I have more than enough to be thankful for, and I am. I hold those things in my heart when I could easily rail against the unfairness of the world, the moral decrepitude of society, the crumbling state of…well, basically lots of things, including our environment, both literal and figurative.

I had been hoping to make this post on Facebook on November 9th:

30 Days of Gratitude: I’m standing here, with my daughter, in a field of broken glass, staring at the beautiful sky. There is no limit.

But that’s not a post I had the opportunity to make, no matter how many days, weeks, months, years I’d been looking forward to its being a reality.

I reminded my students, when they came to me that day seeking guidance, that culture is not always top-down. It also radiates outward from each person’s choices. It rises from the ground up when we lay its foundation through our actions and voices.

Our school adheres to four core values: honesty, respect, responsibility, and kindness. And even when we don’t see these values modeled for us in the public sphere — and oh, my goodness, we don’t see them there nearly enough — we have the ability to be honest and respectful and responsible and kind. We have countless opportunities every day to choose to adhere to those values, and we must.

If we treat others in every daily interaction, be it in person or online, with those four values, and if we do it consistently, then we can and will change the toxic culture around us.

It will radiate outward.

It will rise from the ground up.

It will shatter what holds us down.

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Words Are Important

This video came through my inbox this morning, and I just had to share.  You probably already know — if you’ve been reading my blog a while — that I think words are important, and that the ones we choose and the ways we use them really matter.  (For a little tutorial on my views, see my previous post, “Because Language Matters.”  Incidentally, BLM remains to this day the most viewed post on this blog.)

Anyway, this short video is really nice.  It’s an advertisement for something I’m not familiar with, so I’m not actually endorsing it, but I do think the video is very worthwhile.

Enjoy.

A Film I Hope Everyone Will See

Recently a friend and colleague of mine, director Mike Akel, released his latest project:  An Ordinary Family.  This is a movie I would like for everyone to see.  It deals with a sensitive, timely, and important subject in a funny yet poignant way, a manner which Continue reading “A Film I Hope Everyone Will See”

Generosity Day

What a neat idea that I first heard about from Brené Brown’s blog Ordinary Courage.

http://www.causes.com/causes/646624-generosity-day/actions

What will you do to make Valentines’ Day a day to share kindness with anyone and everyone?  I’m going to try really hard to be patient and as non-ogrish as possible all day…  And I will have chocolates available in my classroom all day for anyone who wants them.