Three ways to evaluate those who hold political power: when to run away and when to give them another week

I've created a list by which I gauge those in power: who I should run away from and who I'll trust for another week. (By the way, the purpose of the world is NOT to serve us; this is how every major conflict begins.) Now I won't be naive and pretend that in the past … Continue reading Three ways to evaluate those who hold political power: when to run away and when to give them another week

The world isn’t what you think it is, and why should it be?

I feel stupid confessing this, but I was slightly freaked out by Europe. We came back last month from eleven days in Rome and Greece, and while I was prepared for the trip, many silly things deeply worried me. For example, the electrical outlets--two little holes? And their electricity is "different" than American/Canadian electricity? Isn't … Continue reading The world isn’t what you think it is, and why should it be?

I know it’s scary; do it anyway.

This is my mantra, because I am a coward, always have been. Yet I recently found myself sitting in Logan Airport in Boston, MA and realized I’d gotten there all by myself which, just a few years ago, would have been impossible. I’m scared of traveling because too many things can go wrong. I hate … Continue reading I know it’s scary; do it anyway.

Optimism, Gratitude, and Grit can together defeat fear

One of my favorite writings assignments I give my 10th graders is the "Optimism, Gratitude, and Grit" write-up. We're reading a holocaust memoir, and we talk about the qualities the survivors had in common: 1) the ability to maintain hope and optimism; 2) a feeling of gratitude, no matter the circumstances; and 3) grit and … Continue reading Optimism, Gratitude, and Grit can together defeat fear

You can’t manipulate the educated, which is why they don’t want us educated

The entire reason for my attending a class as a grad student was to argue with the professor. She was on one side politically, I was on the other. I respected the woman immensely, but daggum, did she know how to push my buttons every week! It was like she was TRYING to make me … Continue reading You can’t manipulate the educated, which is why they don’t want us educated

Quit protesting and start doing; it’s not the government’s job but ours

This week in school I taught about the rescuers during the Holocaust and WWII. (We're reading a Holocaust memoir and I like to give my students historical context.) We learned about Irena Sendler, who smuggled out 2,500 babies and children from the Warsaw Ghetto, and about Oskar Schindler whose list preserved the lives of 1,200 … Continue reading Quit protesting and start doing; it’s not the government’s job but ours

The purpose of politics: not what we, the people, think.

Ideally, our elected politicians solve the problems WE, THE PEOPLE assign them. Ideally, politicians are OUR employees, working for OUR communities' greater good. Invariably, politicians forget that when they get a little power, and will do whatever serves their futures, not ours. There's no wound they won't reopen, no minor issue they won't distort, and … Continue reading The purpose of politics: not what we, the people, think.

You already have the power to balance your corner of the world

With so many in the US calling for "fairness" and for the government to ensure (enforce?) that fairness, we have forgotten that creating equity and caring for the poor is already within our power. We each can balance the world correctly. In fact, we're the only ones who can. There's nothing stopping me or you. … Continue reading You already have the power to balance your corner of the world

It’s always been individuals who fixed the world; it’s never been a government

I know of many generous people who quietly go about doing great things for their neighbors. They donate money, they create opportunities, they sacrifice their time, talents, and everything they've been blessed with to help others through rough patches, to get job training, to give them a boost up to self-sufficiency. And they do it … Continue reading It’s always been individuals who fixed the world; it’s never been a government