I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always a pleasure to read what everyone writes about their lives.
Among all the not-so-great things that happen to me, dental problems, car breakdown, plumbing needed, I feel pretty good about my life. Having been married to a special man makes me feel very lucky. Teaching was a very special time in my life. Parenting and grandparenting continue to be. Those things make my life feel full of many more ups than downs.
I guess you feel a "but" coming. Yes, there is one. Since I was a wee person I could read, and I loved it. I loved the learning, adored that I could open this thing with covers, full of pages, and learn something. It might have been about emotions and how a young girl took good care of herself when flung into a new situation. It might have been an adventure out in the ocean, and a captain who faced a life and death decision. It could be a book about horse training.You who are readers know what I mean. Whatever it was, I gobbled it up and returned for more.
This is not just about reading, but this week especially, and a thread running through my life these past months, or a slice every day I suppose, is a heightened distaste for ignorance. I don't mind teaching or knowing someone who doesn't know something. I realize that there are hundreds of topics of which I know little. However, when I do not know something, and wanted, or more important when I needed to know, I read and learned and talked with experts if I could, then read more.That was my stance in teaching students and my own children, too. Search and discover the answers.
And when I hear our incoming president unable to answer a question from someone who refers to historical events, to economic concepts, to the human facts of our United States, or other topics, I am outraged. That's the word. In all my years of living, teaching, parenting, I have not accepted ignorance. There are reasons for it, but there are also ways to change it: research, read, discover books that teach. I've learned more history and the ways of governing in the recent past than probably any time in my life. And then this week I read this New York Times article about President Obama's way of living and managing his presidency. He read. Not everyone agrees with everything he's done as president. That's okay, too. But he is not ignorant.
I am trying to consider other points of view. I am trying to discover hope for these next years by finding/learning ways to question what I believe is not right, is not good for all those who live in our country, in the world.
I won't stop learning and reading.
"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James Baldwin