"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stories of Grace and the Sunday Education Weekly Reader 04.22.12

As noted in a previous article, stories abound with the terrible treatment of children and adults by governmental agencies and private citizens.  

It was a delight to read in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch stories of grace and compassion present in two women's lives and actions.  Where did these women learn about grace and compassion and why do they want to help people who are not related to them?  After reading the articles, do you think gracious people are those who have discovered there are obstacles in life and life is not always fair?  Do physical and emotional hardships (in their own lives or experiencing it with others) impart knowledge and emotional depth to those who have experienced grief that no data set can measure?

One is a story of listening.  That's about all an elderly woman can offer her own caregiver.  What a gift to give to someone in need.  From "Caregiving Doesn't Have to be One-Way":  

"She's changed my life," Donna told me.  


The second is a story of providing acknowledgement of women's special gifts, even when these gifts may not fit into a prescribed data set to ensure "success" in life.  From "Miss Amazing Pageant Celebrates Women and Girls with Disabilities":

"Everyone in the audience was either smiling the whole night or either crying or laughing," she said. "I think every girl should get an opportunity to feel beautiful and important."

This second link includes a video about the experience headed by a young college student who wants to give girls the opportunities she has had that they don't.  How has she developed this interest?

A love of pageants and working with people with disabilities came together recently for Lindenwood University junior Ellie Lorenzen.

She organized Missouri's first Miss Amazing Pageant, an event for girls and women with disabilities held April 14 at Lindenwood.

Lorenzen, 21, has been competing in pageants for five years. Her oldest brother, Jordan, 27, is severely mentally disabled. She describes him as a prankster and full of life, but he will never be able to live on his own.

"He has really shaped my family," she said. "My brother and sister and I really live our life to the fullest knowing how much of a blessing he is."


Thanks to the Post-Dispatch for these stories of grace from a dying elderly woman and a young woman in college.  Both have touched lives in countless ways.  These articles are educational lessons in compassion, grace and love.  Maybe these are ultimately the most important lessons we all need to learn and practice.  How will they be measured on a data set? 

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