Stumbling Toward Hope

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My father will be a hundred in this November. All his long life he has had faith that our world will somehow manage to stumble along and not implode. With Black Lives Matter leading the way, lately we have been stumbling and even marching in the right direction: less violence and more equity. 

As America’s tree is getting a good shake and so many of us are becoming more aware of the injustices that face black Americans — and taking to the streets to raise our voices in protest — here’s some of the other fruit I hope will fall out of the branches: more kindness and respect for teachers, more respect for trees and animals, and a rethinking of Fiesta.

Renaming Sambo’s and implementing Ethnic Studies in our schools is a good start: Now let’s rethink and recreate Fiesta. There’s plenty of good there, but as we stumble toward a better more inclusive, equitable, and respectful future, there’s much we could do to improve Fiesta. 

Next, teachers, if you can read that powerful quote by Nelson Mandela an artist has gifted S.B. with, thank a teacher. I’m a 30-year teacher and believe heart and soul that we need to stumble our way toward more respect, kindness, and patience for the hardworking and dedicated people I work with who have made this profession the center of their lives.

Lastly, the beings that have no voice and cannot speak up for themselves: trees and animals. Let’s stumble and even march — peacefully — toward much more respect and equity for these beings.

In closing, Happy Solstice S.B., for 31 years now I’ve celebrated the longest day of the year with silly floats, bright costumes, music, and street-theater interaction. I’m going to make it 32. It’s not hard to guess where I’ll be at noon on Solstice Saturday — in my tutu with balloons on my head (and wearing my mask). Maybe if I’m lucky some more freaks, artists, musicians, dancers, and free spirits will put on their masks and stumble out to join me.

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