I was tinkering around the house on Friday when my Mom called – “Have you heard about the terrorist attack at the soccer game in Europe?”
I hadn’t…And as my wife and I watched the news that evening, I felt so many emotions running through my brain. Our second anniversary had been spent in Europe with students. We took pictures in all of the cool places: the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, and Westminster Abby. My wife had her picture drawn by an artist at Montmartre in Paris, it is my most treasured image of her.
I wonder though…
And this tragedy brought back memories of things from the past: actually hearing the explosion that destroyed the Murrah Building (I was studying for a test in my car at the University of Central Oklahoma – my car shook), watching the Twin Towers fall, seeing the footage of the London bombings, the Charlie Hebdo attack from earlier this year, and more recently the Russian plane being destroyed in Egypt…so much human suffering, it is heart breaking.
I pray for those impacted in Paris, such a terrible loss of life. #prayingforparis
Then my thoughts moved to teachers and students and all of the different terrible things that have happened in our schools – shootings, gang violence, tornados…it takes your breath away.
Through all of this, I have hope. Hope is the one thing that every person on the planet needs. Hope keeps us going through the darkest of the night. Hope helps us engage in the world around us in a positive way. Hope pushes us to reach new heights and explore strange new worlds. Hope gives life. Hope is a light in the dark.
Hope has led us to discover so many things in this world. Polio, for the most part, has been eradicated. Dr. Jonas Salk had hope that he could help conquer this disease, so he worked to do so. Researchers all over the world hope to cure cancer and AIDS and hundreds of other debilitating conditions. They have hope, because without it, what is the point of continuing?
I have hope for our teachers and our students. We appear to be living in a time of great turmoil inside our educational system. Yet, teachers and students are doing amazing things! Teachers are finding their voice and sharing the cool things that are happening inside their classrooms. Teachers have so much on their plate and yet, day after day, they give hope to their students.
Students who have no hope, shut down and give up. They will refuse to do anything – why bother, it won’t matter – is the typical mode of thinking. However, give a student hope, they will fly to the moon and back. Give a student hope and they will work. Give a student hope and they will grasp at it with anything they can use.
Give a student hope and you can change the trajectory of their life.
Looking back at all that has happened – I have hope. In the aftermath of this tragedy, I have HOPE! If each person who reads this pours hope into someone else, the world will change. As soon as you finish reading – text someone and say thank you. Call them and give some encouragement. Email a motivational message to a person who needs hope.
Don’t Wait – or the opportunity will be gone…