Thursday, January 5, 2017

Scrubbing the windows

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.
~Isaac Asimov


Hey! I'm not starting up again quite yet. I just wanted to share something I was thinking about.

There's a young man I know, a college student, who wants to be a lawyer. If someone were to just look at him from the outside, they might assume he is "privileged," "entitled," what-have-you. He actually is putting himself through college because his mom doesn't have any money. He grew up poor in a one-parent household, had family members die of AIDS, has mental health issues, and has been seriously assaulted. He has a full plate to deal with, and you wouldn't know that from looking at him.

Here's a quote from the Chicago Tribune, 1965:
Most of us are acutely aware of our own struggles and we are preoccupied with our own problems. We sympathize with ourselves because we see our own difficulties so clearly. But Ian MacLaren noted wisely, “Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.”
Back to kindness, always...

My blog break has been extended, but I hope to return to your regularly scheduled programming by next Wednesday. :-)

7 comments:

HWY said...

One quotation I have found to be true comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."

In other words, don't just think about it, do it! :-)

Robyn Hood Black said...

Glad you took a wee break from your blog break to share these words, Tabatha - so important and timely. Sending along a prayer for that brave young college student.
Wishing many kindnesses coming your way this year - I know they will flow FROM you, and I hope you feel the warmth of receiving them, too!

Laura Shovan said...

Dear Tabatha -- thank you for the Asimov quote. Empathy is so important in this world. I loved what Tara Smith said at our NCTE panel, that we must help children develop their empathy muscles, and that sharing poetry is one way to do so. <3

Kortney Garrison said...

Love the image of scrubbing those windows clean. I hadn't really noticed how grimy our were until the sun came out. This sense of other people living full lives--full of suffering and joy--was the greatest gift of serving in the Peace Corps.

Keri said...

Missing your voice around here, and your kind heart. We often see as far as the end of our own noses, I'm afraid. If only we could all do a better job of bestowing grace, mercy, compassion and the benefit of the doubt . . .

Carol said...

Thanks for this very important reminder. Many of my students have similar stories. I am always amazed by the ones that persevere and somehow make it through. And I wonder what makes them different than the ones that have similar lives but aren't as successful. Perhaps one thing is those few words of kindness to keep them going.

Irene Latham said...

Thank you for linking back to this post, Tabatha! I am speaking to some middle schoolers later this week on this theme of all that's going on that we cannot see... and how kindness is always the best choice. xo