I’ve held off commenting or observing the Newtown, CT violence for several reasons — distance, respect for the families and communities, fragmented and emotional thinking, and the idea that, after acknowledging the pain, sorrow, and suffering, the best place to turn one’s energy might be home and our local communities.
I’m still going to be quiet because I think Winthrop men’s basketball Pat Kelsey captured the feeling of parents and educators this past Wednesday in his post game remarks.
Kelsey’s team had just played Ohio State. He freely acknowledged that he had the biggest stage and microphone that he might ever have and he was going to speak.
“I’m really, really lucky…” Kelsey opened.
Speaking as a parent, teacher, and educator, Kelsey struck so many notes of my personal thoughts and feelings as well as those of educators that I know.
His imploring of national leadership, his love for his own kids, his empathy for the families of Newtown, his work with his players, his understanding that he’s just one person, his humility, his belief in human decency, his belief that everyone who works with kids and young people must take it upon themselves to be a positive force, all hit just the right mark.
For educators, our first charge is to be the most positive and effective agents we can possibly be- every day- with each other and the students in our charge.