Friday, October 14, 2016

A Little Sunshine

These last two weeks have been hard. I think it has been difficult because of the types of stories we read in the newspaper or watch on the nightly news. I find it ever more difficult getting on Facebook lately without some ugly story, some unkind, insensitive and degrading words and actions. Finger pointing. Blaming. Deflection. All of it.

So . . .

I think we should end the week with some inspiration and perhaps, A Little Sunshine in the otherwise dark and gloomy times we’re in right now. We need that. All of us.

I can honestly say I work with some of the very best teachers and staff members on the planet. Teachers and staff members who continually give and give and give some more. If there’s a need, a cause or some sort of drive, each and every time you’ve stepped up and led the charge. Each time. And I’m so very proud to work amongst and alongside of you. I mean that sincerely.

I came across a story about Beth, an elementary teacher from Madison, Wisconsin who did something way, way beyond the call of duty. One of her children was in need of a kidney. The youngster was in pretty dire straits. I mean, it’s not like a kid needing a sandwich to eat or a pencil and paper to do homework. The child needed a kidney. And this teacher, God Bless Her! stepped up and donated one of hers.

I mean, wow! Seriously, who does that? A teacher did, that’s who. A teacher.

But it didn’t end there. Ellen DeGeneres invited this teacher and the little girl’s mother to her show. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers (yes, I know, caught, guilty- I’m a Packer fan since childhood) found out about it and wanted to do something special for Beth and her family. The short four minute video, truly worth watching can be found at: Yes, it might bring a tear, but it’s worth it. Honest.

But another story caught my eye.

Yesterday, our District Superintendent, Dr. Bruce Benson, visited our school with the intention of co-teaching a lesson with Ms. Erin Dowd, one of our special education teachers. So he and the kids prepared for “Bagel Friday” a tradition of providing bagels for teachers and staff as a fund raiser for their class trip.

And it occurred to me that in all the years I’ve been around special needs kids, we’ve never had an incident where they’ve been made fun of, disrespected, or excluded. I can’t think of one case.

But, that is not the case everywhere.

James is a special needs student from Mankato, Minnesota who has been bullied. He didn’t have any friends. He didn’t like to go outside for recess and he hated going to the cafeteria to eat lunch. That has changed.

A group of fifth grade boys didn’t understand why James was being picked on. They decided to make a difference in James’ life. The story, a short three or four minute video can be found at  and it is worth watching.

So, why am I bringing these stories to you today? Because each of us, each day, needs to realize that all in all, we live in a pretty decent world with good and caring and loving people. Not all is bad out there, despite what you might see in the newspaper, on nightly news, or even on Facebook. There is a lot of good out there, everywhere.

For all of the ugly stories, unkind, insensitive and degrading words and actions; for all of the finger pointing, blaming, deflection that is taking place, there is and always will be A Little Sunshine out there. We just have to look for it. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
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If you like to read thriller/mystery, check out:
Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.            

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.            

Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
The FBI knows a 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t. With no leads and with nothing to go on, the FBI gambles and sets up the boy and his family as bait in order to catch three dangerous and desperate men with absolutely nothing to lose.

The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe