This morning, like every morning, I headed out with Rosie for a walk. It always clears my head, which was whirling. I was thinking of the ugliness I've seen online of late. The horrible violence in our world. And, much less important, but the never ending to do list I had at home. Anxiety was building and a walk was my remedy. As I walked I listened to Matthew Winner's podcast with Beth Kephart and my brain quieted. Beth said so many smart things... I do believe we can save each other through story. What I see when I work with my students, when we do what we do together, when we tell the truth together, when we listen to each other, when we try to elevate what storytelling is, ... I see what can happen in communities. We only have one life to live. Beth's words swirled in my brain. I reflected on a conversation with my new colleague last week. We talked about how lucky we are to teach 7th grade Language Arts. How in our classes we get to share stories, tell stories, write stories. How our classes can be built around building character. How we can help students become their best selves. And then, I walked on. And came upon some chalk words on sidewalk sections. And I smiled. And took photos. And tears sprung up. I know so many of the kids that live in these two blocks. I've taught so many of them. They have the best hearts. I love that one (or more) decided to put out a positive message for others to see. That I got the chance to see it.
My heart grew full. I was reminded that the world might be filled of ignorance and hate, but it's also filled with love. And compassion. And kindness. And that these kids are our best hope. I'm beyond grateful that I get to teach them. Lin Manuel Miranda was right. How lucky we are to be alive right now.