I’ve been struggling to post to both Instagram and my blog recently. It’s not that I don’t have time or I’m short of ideas, but I’m just…overwhelmed. See, Elliot and I are in the process of moving so things have been a little out of wack recently. The beginning of the school year, of course, is always a little crazy too and I feel like I’ve been playing catch up for the last month. And just when I finally felt like I was caught up…I sprained my ankle at school last week.
Needless to say it’s been a little wild around here recently. But you know what? It always is. My life is always busy so, what exactly has been holding me back?
That’s when I starting realizing that these things are not what is bothering me. Today I realized that it’s our current political climate that has really been getting to me recently. When I look back, it’s easy to see why:
- The mass shooting in Vegas.
- The devastation in Puerto Rico and the lack of support.
- And most recently, Trump’s decision to allow employers to choose whether or not they include birth control in their health care.
It’s honestly just a lot and it’s extremely discouraging. Especially when all these things happen at once.
And then I think of my amazing class.
These kids, who have their whole lives ahead of them. Who are full of hope and endless potential. How do I explain their president to them? How do I explain the terrible things that happen in the world and worse, the “leaders” who are doing very little to make it better.
So, this afternoon, I took a deep breath and started to write. I started to think of solutions to all of these problems weighing down on me. Suddenly, I was reminded of my mission statement posted outside my classroom door. It’s called “The Starfish Story” and it’s a beautiful read:
Every time I read that story, a little lump forms in the back of my throat. I find myself struck with the beautiful message this story has to offer. Mostly because, it’s so true.
I know I’m just one person. I know I can’t change our nation overnight. I can’t fix all of our problems. But I can teach my students empathy and compassion. I can teach them to love all regardless of their differences. I can have discussions with friends and family where we all leave a little wiser and a little more open minded than before. I can go out and protest, sign petitions, call my senators, and vote. I can make my voice be heard in so many ways.
Yes, there are going to be times when I get discouraged and disheartened. But there’s always a way I can respond. And I need to remember to take a deep breath and write. It did wonders for me today. It’s so therapeutic to get down my thoughts and as a result, realize what actions I need to take.
So, here are my goals for the next week:
- Call my senators and make sure my voice is heard.
- Vote in my local primary election.
- Donate to reliable sources to support Puerto Rico and the victims of Vegas.
- Not only teach my students empathy, but show it every day.
Because, believe it or not, we’re more powerful than we think.