I love fall so very much but its arrival has been slow to Kentucky. As a result of our 85+ degree days I have forced fall into my home with as many fake leaves, pumpkin decorations, and fall scented candles as I can find. (Plus it has rained for approximately 1 trillion days here so my dogs perpetually smell bad anymore, ick!)
Last night I was blowing out the last of the candles and the flame was at that almost magical point where it looks like it is out but then all of a sudden gets going again before returning to full fire form. The house quiet, a rarity around here, and I thought for a moment about this Nelson Mandela quote that I have always loved so much.
Maybe this whole goodness thing was on my mind because my town literally was torn apart by a pizza review this week. I realize that probably sounds dramatic but no joke google Barstool review Lexington pizza place and see what comes up and then read all the great comments!
Our local pizza joint had to shut down its phones and social media as well as yelp reviews because they went from over a 4 star rating to a 1 in a matter of hours and people were calling to curse and yell at them non stop. Its not like these were customers it was just strangers that thought it was fun…no joke.
It isn’t like this kind of stuff is uncommon, it happens everyday. People are so quick to get mad and angry, pass judgements, and then spread the word about how terrible you are. Yet at the same time people are slow to have rational discussions, see both sides or try to see the good in people, companies, or organizations.
I won’t lie, sometimes it is hard to see the good anywhere.
And then, I walk into my garage and see books and school supplies and remember all of the beautiful goodness in the world around me. Sometimes that flame of goodness is hidden and sometimes it is almost out but it always makes a comeback. We have been overwhelmed by friends, acquaintances and strangers who have sent books and supplies from across the country to help us achieve our goal of giving every one of these kids a book they can call their own.
I have gotten to talk to people like Deborah Schaumberg the author of The Tombs one of the books on our list. Deborah not only donated books to our cause but reached out to her own friends and family to ask them to help and make sure that every single child that wanted to read The Tombs could. Today, the last copy of The Tombs was ordered thanks to her help, a complete stranger, who just wanted to get books in kids hands.
It isn’t just the book project that has me see all of this goodness, my Open Up Resources 6–8 Math groups are the best. I really can’t tell you how many times at the end of a long day I jump in the Facebook group or on #openupmath to see all the amazing pictures and stories teachers are sharing. They are soul-filling kinds of stories full of the amazing abilities of teachers and the progress we are making in math education. It is the best.
And there are the amazing people I get to work with who I can call ridiculously early West Coast time because I am unsure of something or panicked that I messed something up that will take the time to understand what I need and help me own and fix my mistakes. I didn’t really think there could be people as passionate (or as crazy) as I am about equity in education but my co-workers really are. But beyond that so many of them have helped support us in our book project not just by buying books, but with kind words and sharing our story. My life is filled with good people. (And seriously everyone there rocks but Karen, Patrick, Gail, and Lincoln, save me, make me laugh, and remind me how amazing humans can be everyday).
I get awfully wrapped up sometimes in all the darkness that sometimes hides all the goodness around me but it is there just like that candle I tried to blow out last night. Thankfully kindness is magical like a flame, just when you think it is gone and just when you need it most it finds a way to bounce right back.