In December 1776 eighteenth century philosopher and author, Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls … ” from the 1st volume begins, The American Crisis. Paine would go on to write a collection of pamphlets during the American Revolutionary War. Common Sense probably being his most famous Paine, like many other politicians and scholars, knew the colonists weren’t going to support the war without proper reason to do so. The purpose of the pamphlets was to stir and inspire the colonists. And, written in a language the common person could understand.
Fast forward to February 2018, Paine’s words have come and gone in my mind and come again and gone, more than a few times – the day of the Parkland Florida school shooting, subsequent days after as more personal stories were shared and most recently – when my daughter Sarah called to tell me about her day. Her middle school went to code yellow (bomb threat) that morning. She told me of the emotional conversations she had with her colleagues, parents and mostly with her 6th grade students during the day. I listened … she talked. At the end she said, “I don’t know Mom, why we all can’t be better? We need to be better.” It is a good question. Why, can’t we be better?
Later that night, I sent her this message – “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”* – I hope you will try again tomorrow. And, I will too. Love ya, Mom.
I am no Thomas Paine. I’d love to hear what you are telling your children to stir and inspire them in these times.
Until next time take good care and be safe out there.
*from author and artist Mary Anne Radmacher