W here to begin with the gratitude, followup on last week’s column? I lost a good friend this week, one whom I had not seen much recently, one who had been sick for a long time and dealt bravely and amazingly with it. That is not the gratitude; the gratitude is the experience of knowing him. Well, yes, and that he dealt bravely and amazingly with it, to be honest. That was part of him.
To the kids, however. Those privileged to work with kids know what I mean.
w The gift of watching their minds awaken — in the case of the age I teach, to the joys of abstract thinking and the possibility of planning a future that is not just daydreams.
w The discovery of becoming the best that they can be, and of walking through those steps with them.
w The realization on their parts that while they may not like everything we make them do, it is done for their own future good.
w The honestly working as partners in education, and the realization that they can make many of their own choices.
w Their humor
Certainly, people who teach the wee ones have their own sets of gratitude markers. Those are some of the gratitude points that go with secondary ed. They are amazing people, and it is a gift to be able to walk through adolescence witth them, especially with a superb group of colleagues.
As a society, we still have much to be grateful for, in spite of consistent challenges to who and what we are. We can express, without fear of retaliation, our political and moral and religious convictions. Well, to be honest, if we have lost control of our government, it is our own negligence, and it is up to us to rein it in.
Health is something I will never take for granted. Ten years ago, my life was an open question,and I will never forget the crash that comes with being a healthy, active 45 year old and suddenly discovering that your body is host to cancer. It seems that there were a great many people more sure than I was that I was going to be fine.
I mourn the loss of Gary, Kevin, Gail, and others in my age bracket who passed too young, way too young. We are supposed to live till eighty. The not taking for granted, means living every day as a gift, and doing the most with it.
It will be only a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving day. What are you grateful for ?