We have to begin by dreaming, imagining, and envisioning what can be, then we have to work with others to make that happen. We have to organize around our collective vision and need.
Most of my efforts related to betterment in the past and present centered on family and school. Led by the question: how can I do this well and/or better, I learned, dreamt, and work towards betterment in what I can do with the family/school team.
On the home front and school front, there are currently countless efforts related to betterment occurring--people all around me are working with good resolve, vision, and effort to make a positive difference. This is very positive and keeps me busy as I work to help bring these dreams alive in my individual and our collective work, dreams that relate to multiple goals including the following:
- Greater social emotional learning and emotional intelligence development
- Greater attention to students' individual/family needs and how we can help
- Greater attention to individuals' talents and development
- More holistic teaching/learning programs that promote standards in rich, meaningful ways
- Creation of welcoming living/learning environments
- Empowering and supporting the many good people around me
This work takes time, focus, sacrifice, and attention--it is good work.
However as I work in these somewhat ideal environments, I am troubled by the words I hear/read and actions I notice in our greater country and world--a climate that often reeks of disrespect, greed, violence, and a lack of concern for the most vulnerable amongst us including children, the elderly, the sick, and those who are in the minority due to beliefs, lifestyle, culture, religion and more.
I am worried about the hero-worship that seems rampant with regard to people who don't seem to stand up for what is good for themselves or others--these people are making lots of money due to the admiration of many, yet these wealthy seemingly self-serving individuals appear to give little back to society by the way of helping others, advocating for good programming and supports, and using their monetary and social power to work towards betterment--betterment for children, betterment with regard to basic needs for all, betterment in the environment and environmental protections, better health care and education, and betterment with the progression and revision of laws to make a safe and strong country.
I am similarly worried about the acceptance of the President's poor behavior and angry, demeaning statements. I am worried about the support the President and his cronies receive for the greed, discrimination, and violence they champion. I wonder why more Americans don't stand up for what is right and good--I am thinking about how I can do more in this regard.
Life moves on and we can never truly know our impact. As I say again and again, we are so small in the sea of time--we are but seconds at best, yet those seconds matter. What we do has great impact, and the more we can push ourselves to live, learn, and act with greater love, sensitivity, and care the better we will do for ourselves and for others.
Am I the best amongst us--no way. It is a struggle to live with respect, care, best effort, and love. There are always many challenges to this desired path, yet it is a path I am not giving up on and one I will continue to work to travel with as much earnest endeavor as possible.
So on this Mother's Day, a day when I am grateful to be a mother and to have a loving mother. I think that there is great hope and potential, but there is much work to do to reach that promise. Onward.