"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lift Every Voice and Sing

It ends, it begins...

In my last year's New Year's post I focused on how knowledge of my past was/is a great contributor to my appreciation of, and being oh so grateful for, my present.

So much has happened in the world over this past year. All around the world - from Syria, to the Sudan, to Russia - people are looking toward the future, their future. They are literally taking to their streets, protesting, fighting, being tortured, dying. They are lifting their cacophony of voices not only for freedom, but for the right to determine their destiny, their future. And we, their fellow humanity, hear them, see them, and bear witness. 

I cannot join them in their struggles (and am grateful that I don't live in a warzone), I cannot do much to help them in their stuggles (I have no political power beyond my one precious vote), I cannot do much to improve their lives (except teach my students, and raise my children, to be aware, to pay attention, to read, read, read, and to be as active as they can be - the classroom is a powerful place).

But I can offer them my heartfelt wish for their success, my solidarity, my promise to never look away, and my vow to speak my witness, to lift my voice. I can also offer a bit of inspiration, that comes from another group of people. A people who struggled for nearly four centuries for the right to determine their destiny, their future. So while we're celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, let us send felicitations for a prosperous victorious year to all.


"Lift every voice and sing, 'till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the list'ing skies.
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us.
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun.
Let us march on 'till victory is won."

!Happy New Year, from my family to yours!

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