I am so glad November is over!!!! I don’t know how I managed to book so many conferences for one month! Of course there are blessings in that, in being able to make the conferences, in connections made and new knowledge found. But November got ugly with tragic news, some bad news and some just not so good news. If you have children, if you’ve held an infant I’m sure you understand the true miracle that perfect human is. We’ve all taken for granted how everything from the moment of conception to the child’s first breath led to the creation of that baby with 10 toes, two eyes and one heart. Do me a favor? Hug your child tonight, and hold them as long as you can. And, the next time they do something stupid, instead of reprimanding or scolding, be amazed at the creativity and wonder that led to the moment. Be thankful your child could think through that ridiculous plan and had the arms and legs to carry it out. Hug that baby one more time just for me.

From the personal to the communal, black lives matter.

I was on Twitter the other night caught between the profound tweets about Furgeson and those just as profound about shopping and Portugal and some movie of which I’d never heard. How can people go on and on about these things when Furgeson is boiling? Well, we always have, haven’t we? Have you ever heard that when you point the finger at someone else, three point back at you? While I want to question what others are talking about, I really can only answer for me, right? And aren’t we all just talking?

If this is my year to shine, then what am I going to do?

I’m waiting for someone to connect the dots to the continuing murders of young men of color by police and realize Furgeson is just the place where they decided to say ‘hell no!’ and that our young men are continuing to be killed all over this country.

I’m waiting for a community dialog that talks about the dynamics of race and class and how it is diminished by the power of the badge.

I’m remember that little girl who is afraid of black men and I’m realizing that while books will not solve all of our problems, they provide white children in all white communities with a look into the lives of black children who want no more than to understand themselves and others. And, these same books provide gay, lesbian, differently-abled and children of color with stories of people just like them who are making sense of the world around them. In all that they provide: the sense of wonder, the grin that bubbles to laughter, the questioning of what is and the supposition of what could be, books reach into and beyond race and hate and gender and show us all true selves, our imagined selves and our lovable selves.

A few weeks ago, I attended a dinner to celebrate the anniversary of CANDLES Holocaust Museum here in Terre Haute. The guest speaker, Alex Sheen, founded an organization called ‘because I said I would’. It’s a pretty basic concept: you make a promise to someone, write it on a card and keep the promise. It’s about showing up and keeping your word. Now, to most of you this is a no brainer. For me, it’s a struggle. Showing up and following through? Is it this Introvert’s Dis-ease that makes that so impossible for me? What I do know is that the one thing in life I would do over would be to show up for my children. So, this foundation really hit a nerve with me.

Make a promise, and keep it: isn’t that how we shine?

If you go back and read through all this one more time, perhaps you’ll see where I’m going. I knew where I wanted to end up, but had no idea how I’d get here. I suppose it is all in the journey because you have to know I do not like getting personal on this blog.

I have to do something besides re-tweet and like on Facebook when I read the talk about Furgeson. Perhaps I need to move out of my comfort zone, but for me right now, it’s the books. I think I want to find a classroom with a teacher who knows the power of books, but who needs more for her children. I’d like to adopt that class and donate books.

This is not an original idea, it came from a friend I recently met and was reinforced by this article about the work of Karen Furlong.

I’m curious, have you heard of ways individuals are making a difference in the world around them? What organizations do you support?


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