The winds of change blew through my hair tonight as I walked our property. They are blowing through our community. They are blowing through our state. They are blowing through our country. Changes are happening all around us whether we like it or not.
As I walked around tonight, I reflected on the way our local community is responding to the national pandemic known as COVID-19. It is an impressive response led by a determined group of people. Our little school district has rallied under the amazing leadership of our Superintendent to create online course work in a matter of days for our 1,000+ local students. The teachers met on Monday, created a game plan, and worked like maniacs to create lessons both online and on paper for our students to be able to complete while they are on lock down at home. The principals gathered in front of our schools this afternoon and handed out file folders with directions and assignments for each of our students. We have had a tremendous show of support and success. We have had an amazing response from our parents and students.
A wonderful thing is happening. Our plan is working. Our students are diligently working on their assignments even though we haven’t seen them for almost two weeks due to our scheduled Spring Break and our unexpected hiatus due to COVID-19. My daughter and I both teach in our district and we have both already received completed assignments via Google Classroom from many of our students. The parents are asking questions. The students are asking questions. Everyone is cooperating to make this experience the best it can possibly be for our students. It is actually a bit like a dream-come-true for teachers. Students anxiously awaiting instructions and eagerly doing the assignments. It feels like it did when I was a young girl in school. I absolutely couldn’t wait to get to school to learn each day. It feels a lot like that again and I love it.
Today, I spoke to my mom as I drove home from school to place some last-minute-requests of paper copies in some of my students file folders. Mom told me that America seems to be waking up. Waking up to the fact that we all must stop and think for a minute about what we are doing. We are finally thinking about the needs of other Americans. Some factories are literally changing what they are producing to help America deal with the shortages. Changing what they are currently producing in order to make much needed hand-sanitizer and respirator masks to help ward off this pandemic.
Many people are starting to think about the fact that they shouldn’t horde goods that are needed by other people. Maybe one package of toilet paper is enough for you so you can leave one on the shelf for a desperate family? This may sound bold to state, but I bet some younger people are thinking of other people for the first time in their lives. In a society that has grown accustomed to “me first, others second”, they may need a lesson in thoughtfulness that has served our country well for over 200 years. Our parents and their parents were a self-sacrificing generation who tried their best to leave things in a state of abundance for future generations. They succeeded, but those future generations haven’t seemed to catch on to the idea of “leaving the wood pile higher than you found it” as older Americans have proudly done for posterity.
My husband is the Regional Manager of Emergency Management at his hospital in College Station, Texas. He has worked tirelessly for weeks now with no end in sight. He is leaving before daylight each morning and coming home after dark every night and receives calls and emails the entire time he is at home each night. There are many others like him in the health care system who haven’t had much sleep and haven’t had much down time for about a month now. If you have a moment, please take the time to thank those people who work in America’s health care. They are doing their best to keep this virus from spreading and, I believe, are doing an amazing job.
America, let’s make some permanent changes during this unprecedented season. Let’s bring our focus back to simplicity. Let’s value the free education provided for our children. Let’s value the amazing health care system that we are blessed with in America that is working to keep us all healthy. Let’s value another person’s needs by not over-purchasing commonly needed items. Let’s be patient with others as we learn, as a country, the value of following guidelines and rules for the sake of others.
The winds of change are refreshing and crisp. Will you stand outside and feel them as they sweep across America?