Because of my own insecurities, my concern that I couldn’t follow up another blog after my biggie, I wrote about Carlos and his resiliency, but I didn’t promote it. I didn’t want anyone to read it. The blog could not compare to the one I had written the week before. Hey, it’s not every day that you run your 40th marathon. It’s not every day that you run a virtual marathon in a pandemic; it’s not every day that you get to celebrate something that big, so the week after writing about my accomplishment, I didn’t feel like I had anything of value to share, so I started writing about resiliency. It is an interesting topic and one in which I keep seeing, but it still wasn’t something that I necessarily cared if anyone else read. (I self-consciously, and honestly, cared and was excited that people were excited about my big, special virtual marathon. I also was not impressed with the blog I wrote last week. It wasn’t great writing.)
Last week, I shared a story about a young boy named Carlos. If you are interested in the story, you should check it out either in the podcast or my previous blog.
I wrote about how resilient Carlos is because he made it to high school. The blog that I didn’t want to share with anyone, is actually the blog that has true relevance. I will preface this by saying that I have spent my life naïvely privileged. Our family was middle class, and we often times lingered on the line of upper middle class. My parents worked multiple jobs at a time to inch us up. Because of that, when I think of going to school, it’s just something you do. Going to school was a simple expectation, and I was good at it. The day I entered the first grade, I told my teacher, Mrs. Hines, that “I was going to college,” and I picture myself saying it in the most confident, almost sassy way that an overly confident 5 or 6 year old girl might do. It never occurred to me, that there were children out there who struggled just to get to school. I’m not talking about the kids that aren’t smart. I’m talking about the kids that legitimately want to go to school. I’m talking about the kids like Carlos, the kids who have to get lucky to be able to go to good schools. I am talking about the kids who are forced to walk miles crossing gang lines just to get to school. It never occurred to me that the simple act of going to school would take resilience. People continue to think that as Americans we are all equal, but the truth of the matter is: the people that are thinking that, are the people who are like me: the naïvely privileged. No, this blog post won’t get near the activity that my big accomplishment one got, but THIS is the important message.
It should not take resiliency to get to school. EVERY child, from every race and socio-economic background deserves the right to safely get to school and to work his way to higher education. It should not take luck, and it should not take a high-level of resiliency.
So back to the beginning, I still don’t know why I am writing this blog. I don’t plan to monetize it. I don’t consistently share it. I enjoy coming back every Monday to share my thoughts. I enjoy a simple writer’s outlet, and I love sharing about big accomplishments – like 40th marathons, and I also enjoy following up with blogs about important, yet more challenging topics. It is easy to write about a fun, big accomplishment. It is far more challenging to write about inequality in our schools.
If you showed up this week ready to read about Loung, I will share her story next week. If you showed up here for some inspiration or some feel-good thoughts, take a minute to have deep gratitude. Feel gratitude for the ability to safely get to school. Feel gratitude for walking into a school that felt empowering and fostered a positive learning experience. Feel gratitude that no one said that your school looked more a like a concentration camp than a school. Feel gratitude that you are living in a time and place where boys and girls can both attend school. Feel gratitude that boys and girls of all colors can sit in the same room as one another to learn. As frustrating as inequality in education is, we have come a long way, and we should feel the deepest gratitude for our progress. Now, it is time to make more progress.