I’m participating in Write ALM’s Prompt-a-Day for the month of February. Feel free to join us!
Today’s prompt is
Have y’all ever listened to (or read) the This I Believe essays? I’m not sure where or why I first stumbled across them, but I have been fascinated by them for a long time. It might have been at a teacher workshop somewhere along the line because these make great assignments for in the classroom, and I think that I’m going to actually introduce these in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got to sign up for my summative evaluation, and I think that a lesson digging into these essays in preparation for students writing their own could be incredibly powerful.
All of that to say that for the longest time I’ve wanted to write a This I Believe essay, but there are so many things that are floating out there in my head that it’s always been difficult for me to catch one of the threads and hold on to it long enough for it actually become something. Or I can’t translate what I mean into something that makes sense for another person.
So here’s a list of a few of the things that I believe:
- We make the decision that we are supposed to. Whether it be the right decision or the wrong decision, there’s no use wringing our hands over it. If we were supposed to have made a different decision, we would have; we didn’t so our task becomes either dealing with the fall-out or reaping the benefits. Either way, we’re always taking the steps our feet are meant to travel…simply because we’re traveling them.
- Everything is OK in the end. We just have to keep moving until we get there, which can seem like a really difficult thing to do.
- There is not always a silver lining. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and karma – in the limited and limiting way that we use it – doesn’t always come back around. I’m not too interested in assigning blame and taking solace in the fact that someday, somehow, someway, they will get theirs. I’d rather figure out my role in the whole mess, take my lumps, learn my lesson, and not find myself back here again.
- There isn’t much better than a cold, wet snout when you’re feeling pathetic.
- Family isn’t just or only about your blood. Family is about those people who care for and love you – regardless of where you find them or they find you.
- We have a responsibility to each other – to care for each other, to help where we can, to not look the other way. We are our brothers’ keepers, and it is our duty to speak up – and take action – when we something that isn’t right.
- Public education is under a systematic assault in the United States and the end goal is ignorance, compliance, and blind obedience. I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but I believe this about what is happening to education.
- New Orleans is one of the greatest cities in the country, if not the world, and I’ve been away for too long. (has it really been since the beginning of January?)
- A dry gin martini with 4 garlic stuffed olives is just what the doctor ordered after a long, difficult day. Add in some crusty bread, some cheese and some meat and life is perfect. Even if just a few hours earlier it was shit.
- Mark Allen’s boiled shrimp is just this side of heaven. If you’ve not had it, you’ve missed one of the great gastric treats of this world.
- I’m a better person when I have the time to walk for an hour, write for 45 minutes and meditate for 30. I am focused, grounded, and centered, which makes me more able to face the challenges of life in our increasingly chaotic society.
- Marriage is a choice we make every day – we either make it better or we make it worse. There is the saying if you’re not making progress, you’re regressing.
- We give our children the greatest gift by reading to them – surrounding them with books and words and love.
I think there are a few of those things that could easily be turned into something much more, but for now and tonight, that is enough.