There are so many things happening around me right now that are out of my control that it feels impossible to sit still and encapsulate how I feel about that fact. Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with #yesallwomen and I want to weigh in but I'm not sure how to summarize all of my feelings so I basically just read the hashtags all week. Because yes, I think, all women, but I also think, all people. We all have a fundamental stake in being good people. To others and to ourselves. Every day, we should be the kind of person we would want our kids to be proud of, be the kind of person we want them to be. And if you don't have kids, then be the kind of person you'd want to be friends with. The kind of person that you would count on. One of my favourite quotes (ever) is "The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday." We get a blank slate every day to right wrongs, make better choices, be better people. Women and men. Kids and Adults. All of us.
Something else weighing heavy in my mind is the politics surrounding teaching right now. It's horrible. It's horrible to watch and horrible to be part of. When you become a teacher, you want to work with kids. You want to make someone's life, day, next ten minutes just a little better. You want to see them succeed, get over the hurdles, and achieve their potential. There are a lot of deterrents in that path. There are crowded classrooms, higher needs, budget cuts, and mountains of curriculum. That's not what bugs me though. And no, it's not the wage either. What bothers me is the overall shift I'm seeing that makes me think that people are devaluing teachers. Not all, maybe not even most, but some. Margaret Mead says “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." I love this quote and find it quite true. The flip side of it though is that a small group of people committed to making you see the negative can actually create change too. When I was growing up, I loved a lot of my teachers. There is an undeniable bond, for most people, between themselves and a least one teacher in their memory. While we were on strike today, we talked about who that one teacher for us was. For some it was their home economics teacher. Others, it was their Language Arts teacher. For me, it was my high school drama teacher. Whoever it was, it is very likely that you had a teacher touch your life in a positive way. Teachers shape us, spend time with us, watch us grow, notice when we surpass our own expectations, applaud us, push us back up when we fall. When I was little, we studied community helpers: police officers, firemen, doctors, and teachers. They were people you could trust. People that wanted to impact someone else's life in a positive way. We still matter because your kids will always matter. They are the next generation that will make choices based on the core values that we instill in them, together.
The last thing that is on my mind is the Book Expo of America. I'm an odd person in that I am intensely jealous of all the wonderful people that I "know" who are there now, walking the aisles with Rainbow Rowell, Neil Patrick Harris, Jeff Kinney, and so many more. I wish I were there. But then I think, what would I do if I were there? Most likely, I would freak a little at the thought of talking to these people. I'd be ultra nervous and quite certain that every wrong word ever invented would come out of my mouth at exactly the wrong time. I would laugh too loud and babble incessantly. Someone who was brave enough to say that yes, they were actually with me, would smile politely and yank on my sweater sleeve, trying to save the poor person I'm talking to. This is why my interaction is better online. The delete button doesn't work in real life. Which brings us full circle-- #yesallwomen, #yesallpeople because the delete button is not an option and we don't know what word or gesture, attitude or comment will impact the person around us, or how. We all matter. It's important that we not only remember that, but teach it to the next generation-- to your children, your friend's child. Manners still matter, thoughtfulness isn't out of date, thinking before you speak never goes out of style. And you really don't understand someone until you've walked in their shoes. So instead, walk beside them, without judgement, and just do your best to keep moving forward.
Sorry if this was just straight up rambling, but I did warn you in the title that it was #allthethings
All Addison Cole Agency Mate A.J. Pine Amanda Heger Amara Amazon Am Writing Amy Trueblood Angel's Lake Appreciation Author Author Friends Author Interview Authors Awards A Way With Words A Writer Needs Balance BEA14 Becky Albertalli Behind The Scenes Belief Be Yourself Bliss Blog Hop Blogs Blog Tour Bonus Material Book 2 Book Blitz BookBub Book Deal Book News Book Release Books Busy Carly Phillips Caught Looking Chris Pratt Christmas Christmas Titles Cindi Madsen Co Author Co Authoring Co-authoring Coming Soon Complete Randomness Contest Contests Cover Reveal Cozy Mysteries Dahlia Adler Dangerous Love Dawn Ius Daylight Falls Draw Ebooks Editing Editors Elliot Email Entangled Entangled Bliss Entangled Publishing Entangled Under The Mistletoe Enter To Win Excerpt Excited Extra Faith Falling For Home Falling For Kate Family Fan Girling Father's Dday Forever Forgetful Friends In Many Places Friends To Lovers Fun Giveaway Giveaways Giving Back Goals Good News Grateful Gratitude Guest Blogs Happiness Harper St. George Holiday Reads Holiday Romance Holidays Hop Hope InD'tale Magazine Jaded Love Jennifer Blackwood Jennifer Shirk Jim Cangany Joanne Macgregor Jody Holford Julia A Webber Kara Leigh Miller Karma Brown Kat Colmer Kate Keep Believing Keep Going Keep Trying Keep Writing Kelly Siskind Kendrick Place Series Kensington Publishing Kids Books Kindle Learning Curve Lexi Lawton Life Lindsey Duga Listening Literary Agent Literary Counsel Looking Back Lori Foster Love Lovestruck Love Unexpected Meant To Be Mentor Michelle Hauck Moments Montlake More Than Friends Moving On Need To Write Networking New Beginnings New Release Newsletter New Year Novellas Office Parenting Parting Ways Penner Publishing Persona Perspective Picture Books #PitchWars Public Identity Publishing Publishing House Mate Publishing Mate Puppies Query Trenches Rafflecopter Rainbow Rowell Random Reading Rejection Rhyme Romance Romance Chicks RomCom Sale Self Pub Sequel Sequels Series Sexy And Sweet Shannyn Schroeder Short Stories Signed Paperbacks Small Press Sneak Peek Social Media Some Kind Of Christmas Song Lyrics Space Speechless Story Books Stuck In A Book Subjectivity Summer Summer Carnival Sun Vs. Snow Support Support Network Suspense Sweet Tasty Book Tours Teaching Thanks Thanksgiving Thank You The Bad Boy Next Door The Mending Hearts Series Tiffany Truitt Time To Write Toolkit Top Ten Toronto Romance Writers Trust Under The Lights USA TODAY HEA Waiting What Matters Who's Who Wednesday Word Bank Writer's Block Writer's Brain Writing Writing And Baseball Writing Community Writing Pal Writing Pals Writing Process YA