Saturday, April 3, 2010

A life worth living...


I get to work with people at very interesting points in their lives.  Like the woman who is getting her GED so she can leave her abusive husband, or the man who built homes, and his family, for the last 40 years, but now finds himself out of work.  Many of the people I work with we might just pass by on the street without even a glance. 

I have students from all over, many of whom find themselves in a new place with a different language.  Quite often, these are the people that we just walk by, not out of cruelty, but because we don't recognize the humanity in each other. 

I saw a man on tv the other day, a college educated man from Russia, who said that he used to look down on people who did menial labor.  Now, in the US, he drives a truck for a convenience store.  He shook his head at how his former self would have viewed his current job.  He appreciates his job now very much, and says that he regrets ever judging others.

The kids and I are studying Philosophy and self-deception.  One argument is that the human mind cannot truly examine its existence without becoming thoroughly depressed, the other, obviously,"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

It fascinates me to hear the kids' take on this.  Why wouldn't one examine one's life?  They are fearless.  Why wouldn't they be?  It just takes some adults to teach kids fear and ignorance.
My children constantly recognize the humanity in others.  We, as adults, mess that up too.   Do we, as a culture, with our nose in our phones or ipads, remember others besides ourselves?  Do we remember to see each other?  Not even in an "Avatar" way, but just a look?  An acknowledgement of existence?  We are all given a brand new chance every morning to be reborn.  What an amazing gift that is.  I choose to examine that, with my fearless kiddos by my side.


  1. Thanks for sharing that Jessica. I was thinking about the man from Russia and it seems like whatever we have been arrogant about we often end up eating those words. Forced self examination or Lessons to keep us humble I guess.


  2. Humility is a good thing. I think you are right. Hubris gives us an appetite for something, and not always what we expected.