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Category Archives: Social Justice

Part 2, Sonnet X

Rilke wrote romantic and philosophic poetry was ahead its time. In a time, when our tools are often taken-for-granted appendages, it is essential to take time and recall the mysteries of life. I think he reminds us that the systems we create act as a machine, too.

When we take time and meditate over living, we find those extraordinary moments lifted from the ordinary. To live in proper relationship with our world and each other, is to (re)member there are always things we cannot understand.

Remember comes from the Latin, meaning call to mind and mindful. John Dewey proposed the word mind was a verb. It is a way of caring and tending to the world much like a gardener takes time to care for their garden.

The Machine endangers all we have made.

We allow it to rule instead of obey.

To build a house, cut the stone sharp and fast:
the carver’s hand takes too long to feel its way.

The Machine never hesitates, or we might escape
and its factories subside into silence.
It thinks it’s alive and does everything better.
With equal resolve it creates and destroys.

But life holds mystery for us yet. In a hundred places
we can still sense the source: a play of pure powers
that — when you feel it — brings you to your knees.

There are yet words that come near the unsayable,
and, from crumbling stones, a new music
to make a sacred dwelling in a place we cannot own.

Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born this day in 1904. Teachers, librarians, and parents use his books in children’s literacy, but I found children and adults never really out grow Dr. Seuss.

Several years ago, I read an article about Dr. Seuss. He created cartoons as a critical response to Hitler and Mussolini. He deplored racism and his books were a means of introducing children to diversity. Even though we think of his books as essential to children’s literacy, they are as important to social justice and equity.

It was not just his characters, but what they ate or did not eat that were part of the diversity.

Do you like green eggs and ham?

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and ham!

Would you like them here or there?

I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.

I do so like green eggs and ham!
Thank you! Thank you,
Sam-I-am!

 

Rumi on pronoun use

At one time when life was real, your soul was one with my soul:
All we were, open or secret, was part of the same whole.
If “you” and “I” are pronouns I use, they are only terms–
In truth, there can be no separate you or I at all.

Source: Rumi on pronoun use

I came across this Rumi quote at Leonard‘s blog. We do not live separate from one another, but are part of an inseparable collective. Understood this way, language only acts as labels we affix to one another to enable communication.

When we understand we are each part of that larger collective and are attentive to the needs of others, community emerges in unexpected ways. We seek to help one another, living together in worthwhile and healthy ways.

Langston Hughes

As far back as I can remember, I have adored poetry. I’m especially drawn to the works of poets who courageously dive deeply into their stories… their journeys through life. These are m…

Source: Langston Hughes

Similar to Gina, I enjoy poetry. I wrote poetry in junior high school. When I began teaching Language Arts, I taught poetry. During difficult times in my teaching career, I returned to writing poetry.

I loved Langston Hughes‘ poems and used them each year. His poems were short and students discerned their themes, such as holding fast to one’s dreams, social justice, and life’s challenges, and relate to them fairly easily.

Langston Hughes wrote poetry that reflected both his experiences and the culture of the African-American community. This reflected both the celebrations and suffering that people experienced, which are often intertwined with each other.

All That We Share (Watch!)

Video post by @davidkanigan. This is a great post from David and worth the few minutes it takes to watch it.

Source: All That We Share (Watch!)

As I watched this video, it reminded me of an undergraduate class I took. It was the only class non-special needs undergraduate students could take.

I recall how our text and professor focused on the idea that we have far more in common than what makes us difference. At the core, we are each humans and, when we see each other in that light, it makes all the difference.

When we take time and are mindful to each person present to us, we can grow and understand their presence is a gift to each of us. The differences make us each a unique star in the universe, but there is more to each of us that makes us the same.

* My Words for 2017

It will be a time of change. Life is unfolding along an unexpected and uneasy path, with so much outside of our control. When moving into the unknown, it is helpful to sit and pause and listen to o…

Source: * My Words for 2017

Be ready to be fierce.

Be ready to be kind.

Those words sound paradoxical, but to be kind one has to be fierce in our kindness to others. We must want to be kind in the way others have set an example for us.

It is like being radical, which takes us back to our roots. In French, roots is racine and it connected to being radical. If our roots are strong and give us strength to act and speak out against the wrongs others do to the world and people, we can stand and shelter those who need it.

Merry Christmas Everyone

You already possess everything necessary to become great. source: Crow image: Eddie’s Image Collection editor’s note: this is a repost from ETH December 2015 “Happy Holiday Everyo…

Source: Merry Christmas Everyone

When I saw the picture and quote in this post, they reminded me how much we have in common with each other. Instead of a politics of fear and division, can we can live in peace and harmony as stewards who care for each other, the world, and the future generations we live that world to?

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