For as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something amazing: something that I would always be remembered for. I wanted my name to be recalled with admiration long after I was gone. I wanted my children to be proud of their Mom. I wanted to feel proud of myself.
I chose a profession in education: a place where it is easy to make a difference – if you want to – every single day. For most of my career, I worked in adult education; adult literacy, to be exact. One would think that working with adults who are learning to read and to write would be about as fulfilling a career as one could aspire to. Instead, I worked far, far in the background: writing and overseeing grant proposals for our annual funding; preparing action plans and strategic plans for the government to approve and therefore allow us to keep doing what we were doing for another year; training the teachers who would actually get to teach an adult how to read for the first time, as well as teaching them the myriad life skills that the statistical majority of us take for granted: skills that feel like a mountain to the adult learner who is absorbing them for the first time.
Back in the 1970s, I was just a kid when I first started hearing about acid rain, holes in the ozone layer, air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, water pollution and runaway litter. I was well into my twenties – back in the 1980s – when folks started really seriously talking about the importance of recycling. And I must have been in my forties before I actually received – from my municipality – a Blue Bin for my glass, plastic and paper. Continue reading “One of My Greatest Achievements”
I love the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. I think I’ve written about this before. What a gift, to be given the opportunity of knowing for absolute sure that you made a difference. That you mattered. That your life counted for something. Continue reading “Going to Hell in a Hand Basket”
Every year at Christmastime, I make my husband watch the old black-and-white movie classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. We both know the movie almost by heart now, but nonetheless, I am endlessly fascinated by the story of a very ordinary man living a very ordinary life, who actually gets to see what a difference he made, simply by being born. Continue reading “Thank You Mr. Mugglestone”