Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Since Last Week

        I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always a pleasure to read what everyone writes about their lives.

        This small part was posted on Facebook yesterday: There is a large flower bed outside my fence that is mostly beautiful, but the HOA is in charge of it, and I am tired of seeing so many weeds. Here is what I did today, in succession, left to right, from bindweed attacking, to me attacking bindweed, and the results. I'll keep going again, but it's hot, & I filled one bag! Maybe the HOA will pay me (te he)! I actually don't mind too much. I like being outdoors! And I love the result!
BEFORE

DURING

AFTER
       I've thought of all the things I can do about the troubled time in this past week. I must confess that there is part of me that hopes someone will step forward and fix everything. I wish that it wasn't happening. I wish that it wasn't hard. I do believe many of us are kind, do help by being who we are. 
Like waiting for that bindweed to disappear, I keep waiting. The problems have grown, the weeds have grown, and others in the neighborhood pass by. I imagine they do not see, think it's someone else's problem, not theirs. So, I ask the question: "Who else but me will add to the actions needed?"

      I remember Robert F. Kennedy speaking to the crowd after Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, and continue to be influenced his words:

   “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” 

    
 

18 comments:

  1. If we all ignore problems those problems will just multiply and grow. We all must reach out and what we can to alleviate them. We must not become part of the problem. I do believe that the majority of people are good and that good will eventually win out.

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  2. Remember the old 60's saying: If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem. You are part of the solution. A beautiful part I might add.

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  3. I read that quote and think that what we've lost is a sense of collective purpose. And, it takes a lot of energy to create and participate in that spirit these days. I see my kids carrying on the work, though, all three of them are deeply committed to causes and are activists...just like their old mom was, in her day. :)

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    1. This phrase stood out for me, Tara - "we've lost a sense of collective purpose". We need to regain that purpose.

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  4. Love the quote you shared from Robert Kennedy. Here's to many ripples of hope combining to sweep down the walls of oppression. Thanks for your example of providing a needed action by stepping forward and being part of the solution.

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  5. Our principal chose the motto, "If not you, then who?" for our school one year. It was a call to action. I love that you tackled that bed of weeds. Bravo!

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  6. I had forgotten about that quote. Thank you for sharing it. I feel so much the same. What next? What step to make a difference? I wrote about this today but from the view of a teacher and the need to be critical thinkers. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the weeds. I would sit and help if I lived near but will need to go after my own set of weeds here.

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  7. Your neighborhood may never know who acted as the "ripple of hope" to tidy up that flowerbed; but they certainly will enjoy the beauty. Perhaps they will think, "I wish I'd taken the time to help." Maybe next time they will!!! What a strong metaphor for today.

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  8. Thanks everyone for your own strong words. My laptop is in for a tuneup, & I'm not very fast on the smaller devices. I'm watching the Memorial Service for those fallen police officers now. The words are heartfelt, now time to make change!

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  9. The weeds grow back, that doesn't mean we don't pull them, clear space for other life. It's not about fixing. I think we must tend. Thank you Kennedy's quote and your thought provoking metaphor. We need this spirit.

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  10. Thank you for the quote, and your thoughts that every kind action does have an effect. I like to think that I make ripples of kindness happen the most in my library at school.

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  11. Lots of important in this reflection Linda. These are hard days.

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  12. You make the world a better place. You make a difference. Both with words and actions.

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  13. I so agree with what you say here. Sometimes, we forget that each of us can do something to make this a better world for all of us. Sometimes, we choose to ignore injustice because it feels too big. We become impotent and then blind. Thanks for this post. It's an important reminder.

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  14. Thank you, Linda, for sending "forth a tiny ripple of hope" and the reminder that we can all do something, even if it feels small and inconsequential.

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  15. Linda, your final words sum up the deep rooted feelings of many. At ILA16 a courageous conversation evolved based on the recent events. Tears were spilled; conversations cemented mutual sentiments that mankind has forgotten we are all part of the brotherhood of man. When will the violence stop is a loud outcry.

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  16. You beautifully wove this piece from pulling weeds that weren't even yours to pull, to our collective responsibility for social justice. Yes, we must not only see the weeds, but we must take on the responsibility of taming them. Thanks for the Kennedy quote.

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  17. Linda, what a powerful post. I think it's so important to frame the enormous problems in our society in a way that people can relate to so that we aren't paralyzed in the face of seemingly insurmountable, terrifyingly complex issues. You've done this beautifully. Your post acknowledges that small, positive actions offer hope and can create a tide of change. You remind people to do what they can do. Thanks so much for your thoughtful post and for sharing Robert Kennedy's words.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!