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Take Sides

Source: Take Sides

The link is to a quote by Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner. He is not referring to taking sides over a game. Instead, he speaks to taking sides when we witness wrong-doing and immoral acts. His book Night is a worthwhile reading.

I remind other Christians Jesus reached out to those who were most in need, living on the margins of society. He ate with sinners and tax collectors and stood up against the Pharisees and scribes (Luke 15:1–4) and (Romans 3:23).

We each have to decide what we is immoral and moral. It is not upholding abstract laws and rules, but the spirit of doing what is proper. I did not use the word right or correct . When I do, I fall into a trap of checking a binary box of right or wrong. Instead, I ask “is this proper?” In French, this is a matter of comportment and conduct.

I think the last sentence in the quote are important, worthwhile repeating. It is worth spending time whiling and linger over the words and the depth of their meaning, from a person who suffered and witnessed unthinkable human tragedy perpretrated by other people. “Whereever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.”

I am not a big believer in thinking about my legacy, whatever that might be, but I want to be remembered as someone who stood up and spoke out against the wrong done to other people.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

15 responses »

  1. I liked that you did parenthise even in an informal writing as a blog.

  2. So how DO you say this in French? 6 years of the language, but so long ago. And yes, you are in good company – I’ve always stood up for the underdog. In fact I was usually the only one who did (home, office, school – you pick). And I got away with it, because I was an overachiever, so that gave me a modicum of respect. Love Wiesel – read a bit of his work in college.

    • When I was growing up, my mother would say “ce n’est pas propre,” if one of was rude in some way. Needless to say, this was based on context to some degree. Vrai and correcte mean to be right or wrong, they are binary in nature. Jacques Derrida wrote about propre and appropriate as they share a common etymology. The latter can be used as a verb.

      I think it helps to be an overachiever. I was always big. That helped, as well.

      A student used Night as part of her self-directed novel study. The first time we discussed it together she asked “if it was OK to cry when she read it?”

      • Aww. I’d be a goner if I had to ask about crying when reading. I always do, if the piece is poignant to me, which it usually is. I write with a group of island women and our poetry has been published by a press in Honolulu (Bamboo Ridge). So we do occasional readings, which I dread. Because yes, I always cry. So it gets to some people, but opens up others to their own deeper/buried feelings. Ce n’est pas propre, perhaps, but it Is authentic. Thanks, Ivon.

      • C’est propre. It is about context and, when it is authentic, it works well.

  3. I prefer to be remembered as someone who spread a little sunshine into the lives of others.

  4. wishing you continued success
    speaking truth & compassion 🙂

  5. For those who lean toward no hereafter, legacy seemingly becomes more important. I may only have a lifetime, not an eternal life. I constantly search for moments to breathe positive life into negative circumstance. How does one profess to create a legacy when we are busy living life? Make each moment a legacy, I guess.

    When I count my highlights of 2017 Ivon, finding your blog will be on the definitive list.


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