Just some thoughts:
I once had a teacher who would start class in a rather unusual way. At the time I didn’t think much about it but later when I started teaching I found myself copying what she did.
Not ever class, but very often she would begin the class by saying, “OK I’m giving each of you sixty seconds to think of a word. That word should create an emotion. You may be the one I ask for your word. ” Then she gave us an example. She said, “My one word is Hitler.” We all sat kinda puzzled. Then she told us that during WWII she was a new bride and her husband of a few months was shipped to Europe and killed in the war in Germany. We got the picture.
This past week I went with my wife to her oncology doctor. Walking into the office immediately behind where the receptionists sat in big letters was one word: Oncology.
I was there with my wife seeing her doctor for her three month check-up of her recent blood work. She and I sat down on the couch. The room was full. After a minute or two I leaned over and said to her, “Everybody in this room has cancer.” It was said more as a statement not as a question. I knew the answer, folks don’t come and sit in an oncology doctor’s office to read the paper or pass the time of day. In fact I know personally some who count the days until they have to come back.
As I thought about that old one word emotion teacher and the word on the wall I thought about a quote I had read a few evenings previous. I cannot remember who said it and I may be quoting it a bit wrong but it went something like this:
“Just remember that everyday for someone
is not a good day.”
As I looked at that word on the wall and looked around this room, I thought how often I complain at things that pale so in comparison. The author William Faulkner once said: “If you’re not ashamed of yourself now and then, you’re no honest.”
Bill, looking around the room and thinking of things I often complain about in comparison, yes, I felt ashamed and I should be.
June 19, 2019
Posted June 23, 2019