Grace in Small Things

The city of Detroit had to close half its public schools, in some cases raising class sizes to 60.

Maniacal dictators are having their own people killed rather than listen to the voices of history, reason, and popular sentiment and recognize that their time is over.

3.575 million worldwide die annually from water-related disease.  Consider that.  Imagine not being able to turn on a tap and give your child clean water if he/she were thirsty.

The legislative and executive branches of the United States government are so hogtied by their own devotion to the almighty lobbyist dollar that they can’t see straight.  Their politically fueled rhetoric has so inflamed their own egos that they have entirely forgotten their obligation to serve those who most depend on them.

I just saw a headline telling me that all coral reefs may be gone by 2050. 

Christchurch, a city I was in for ten minutes before declaring that it was one of two cities on the planet I thought I could ever live in, has been devastated by an earthquake.

The price of gas is about to go up (although, as Ellen reminds me, people in Europe have been paying more than twice what we in the U.S. pay for years and they’re all managing just fine – in terms of producing and driving fuel efficient vehicles, better).

And yet the headlines keep yapping at me about Charlie Sheen’s latest public rant against his producer and how he’s no longer going to be making 1.8 million dollars an episode since CBS has been forced to suspend the show because of his behavior.   Somehow this qualifies as big news.

Some days you have to choose to find the things to combat what could otherwise make the average, sane individual (mostly) throw up her hands in despair.

My students (GASP! She’s writing about her students!!!) organized themselves and created “Brownie Thursdays.”  They made a schedule and every Thursday somebody is going to bring in brownies to share.  First they polled the class to determine whether anyone had food allergies.  There was no discussion beforehand about how small gestures and simple acts of leadership and will can build community and foster belonging and therefore elevated self-concept and therefore enhanced learning.  I think I’ll let them figure that part out on their own.  After all, they came up with the brownie thing on their own, I’m sure they’ll work this part out.