A Handful Of Darkness

A 4-year old abducted and raped in Wilmington.  A chemical gas strike against innocent civilians in Syria.  A terrorist attack in Stockholm.  It has been a very dark week.  Things we shouldn’t hear about in the news.  But we do, because there is darkness in the world.  People who do very bad things.  If these perpetrators’ actions weren’t killing people, they were traumatizing them.  They turned people into victims.  Today was one of those days where you were afraid to see what happens next.

I lived in Sweden in the mid 1990s from February,1996 to May, 1997.  I worked in Stockholm, the nation’s capital.  The two places I worked at were on Drottningsgatan (Queen St.) where the hijacked beer truck purposely tried to hit as many pedestrians as possible before it crashed into Åhlens department store.  Right below the store is T-Centralen, which is the Grand Central of the Stockholm subway system.  It is a miracle only 4 lives were lost (as of this writing) and 15 injured.  It shocked Sweden as it does any country where these acts of cowardice happen.  Had I still lived there, I could have very easily been right where that truck hit  shortly before 3pm if I continued to work at either of those jobs.  A witness reported the driver went right into a baby carriage.  Who does that kind of thing?  What cause is ever worth taking innocent lives?  I can’t think of any.

Everyone is going nuts about Trump lobbing missiles at Syria.  I won’t weigh in on whether I thought that was right or wrong, but I do know the chemical weapons attack against civilians in Syria was wrong.  And it wasn’t the first time this happened.  It is a horrible way to die that no man, woman, or child should ever have to go through.  But they did.  They were not able to cry out for justice as the air was stripped away from their bodies.

Last night a little girl in Wilmington, only four years old, was abducted while playing with friends.  She was raped and put in a park after.  Four years old.  I can’t even fathom someone doing that to anyone, much less a precious child.  I pray for her and her family today.  It used to be you could leave your kids to play outside on your own street.  Now the parents in that community are scared because the monster is still on the loose.

For all this darkness, there is always light.  Today, I proudly watched as a family I know officially adopted a foster child they took in a year ago.  3B: Brae’s Brown Bags took part in an event where Delaware children and adults got together to help end hunger in our state.  Even with some cold and windy weather, I got to see flowers and leaves popping up today.  My son made the Honor Roll at his school.  I watched two people I know, one most of my life and the other I met only once, go through very tough health issues but they both look to be on the mend.  There are good things happening every day but far too many of us see the bad.

We don’t have to let a handful of darkness block out the light in our lives.  We can find that light, or even become a part of it.  It doesn’t mean we don’t mourn and bow our heads in prayer when bad things happen.  But we also need to celebrate the good.  It isn’t easy, but it really is the only way to keep your sanity.

A Time To Be Bold, Teachers. Do Not Let Fear Rule The Day.

I had a recent conversation with a teacher, and she thought certain things about me based on this blog and what we were talking about.  She assumed I was a teacher.  I am not a teacher.  At least not in the classroom sense.  I am not beholden to any administration, educators association, or state department.  I am beholden to my son, and his educational well-being.

This gives me latitude and the ability to operate without fear of certain kinds of retribution.  It’s very easy for me to sit here and type these words.  It’s easy for me to tell people to rise and speak with one voice.  But I understand it is not that easy for you.  Besides being a teacher, you are also wives and husbands, fathers and mothers, you have parents, grandparents and nieces and nephews.  Some of these people depend on you to feed them, or clothe them.

There is a movement going on in Delaware.  It’s been a slow thing, waiting for this to happen.  But it is happening, right here, right now.  For far too long, the darkness has blocked us from seeing the truth.  Fear has left the operations and machinations of the nefarious to be shrouded in darkness.  But one by one, the light is beginning to shine through the cracks they have unwittingly exposed.  Perhaps it is their own guilty conscience that has allowed this to happen.

I see a time when all is exposed.  When all the cards are put on the table.  When we can sift through the rubble and rebuild, and make something new.  But we can’t get there until more people speak.  Until they use the very gifts bestowed upon them to educate our children.  We need you to teach us out of the darkness.  The greatest accomplishments in history were when great men and women went beyond the call of duty.  When they would not remain stifled in the dark and shone their light on the world.

As parents, we want you to say no.  We want you to do what is best for our children.  We want you to teach.  We are tired of the iron fist that is hanging above you, every second of the day.  We are exhausted from you being forced to do things you do not want to do.  We need you to rise.  But more than that, we need you to speak.  We need you to tell your stories, from the past and the present.  Fear is a powerful thing.  It allows us to become paralyzed and unable to move.  But the truth will set you free.  Untangle yourself from the web created by those who believe fear is more important than truth.  Become your destiny.