I was speaking with a friend the other day and we were rehashing the familiar challenges that come with the end of a school year. At the same time, there was a great change on the horizon for her work and she referenced that when learning about what may be coming, she found herself defaulting to the truth. This is an idea I first heard when reading Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell. In short, the notion is that when meeting someone new or hearing something for the first time, most of us default to truth and the idea that what we are being told is honest. And possible.
Today marks 55 years since Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. And while I didn’t emerge on the scene until just over 12 months later, I have always heard of the promise that he brought to so many during an incredibly tumultuous time. He had his flaws and the scars he had earned certainly could have left him jaded, yet, from what I understand, he remained steadfast that our best days were still ahead.
While education and politics have certainly become more entangled, I remain optimistic that better days lay in front of us. I believe that the better argument in support of public education exists and it is our duty to find it and make it compelling to others. While I don’t know the full path forward, I do know that there are many people smarter than me out there grinding through all the noise, continuing to inquire and learn, and depending on all of us to sustain the needed effort.
For many years my default has been toward optimism and I’m grateful for the reminder of how buoyant we can become when offered hope.