Theo: Times Like These
Man we read and fell right asleep last night. It was 10:00 when you went upstairs but 9:00 when we both closed our eyes. We must have been tired.
Today is 9-11 -- the second anniversary of the attack on the twin towers. You were 10 years old and in your first year of middle school. Remember? I picked you up from school and we came home and watched the news off and on all day. It was a beautiful, early fall day - just like today. The thing I want you to think about is that yes, there is hate in our world but also there is good. Tremendous good. You are surrounded by good people - me, your mom and sissy, your GG and aunts, uncles and cousins, your teachers, coaches, friends, policemen, firemen, storeowners - so many people not just here in NYC either, but all around the world. Remember all those good people and always try to be a good person yourself - like you are! I love you so much! I believe in you.
Today is why we study history Theo. To remember. To learn. To teach. To not repeat the mistakes. To honor the innocent who suffered and to vow never to repeat or allow to repeat these sins. You were only a 10 year old boy when the Trade Towers fell, but try to hold onto the memory. I left my office and went to BC and picked up you and Joanna and brought you home. We watched TV in the living room at the Ansonia and we cried. I called my mother and brothers and sisters to let them know we were all OK, but our world has been and will always be changed. Go on in your life Theo. Be the best you can be and make the world the best it can be as well. It's our duty to ourselves, our world, our God. Amen! I love you!
Seven years ago - you were ten years old then - the trade towers were brought down by what we call "terrorists." What a shocker that was. What a terrible tragedy it remains. The lives lost. The lives altered. A city scared. A country changed forever. I look around at the legacy and wonder how much we have really taken the lessons to heart. Yet I remain hopeful for our country and our future - the world's future I mean. Oil dominance must be stopped. Tolerance of different peoples, customs, religions must be increased. A broader idea of our important goals must be fostered. Hopefully a new president will make (help) that happen. Hopefully your generation will do a better job than mine.
A silly poem - made up on the spot for a leader with wings.
OBAMA IN '08. Who woulda thunk it? (Last day of classes go ahead and slam-dunk it!)
"Only in America" you hear people say. When something almost unbelievable happens today.
An inspiring man. A man with a plan, To bring us back to a country we can stand (behind and be proud of.)
We never know what lies ahead. Will we be pleased or come to dread (our decision?)
I think pleased (I hope.)
It's like a dream this morning - OBAMA is our 44th president! I can hardly believe it. I'm proud that enough people in our country were capable of seeing past race to a genuine man of heart, intellect, judgment and ability. He certainly has his work cut out for him but I believe he has what it takes to do a good job - the best job - the right thing. You can go to school today proud to be an American!
Some number between a million and two million, suffering together for a short time, for a memory of a lifetime. I hope for great things from this man Obama, that we call our 44th President. Can he inspire banks to lend money? Markets to feel confident, peace to grow where war has been the rule? A huge order to fill, yet we ask him to try. We ask him to tell us the truth. To care about us and others in the world. To care and to try. He asks us all to care and to try as well. He asks us to be aware of other people's pain and suffering and to help however we can. Be patient and seek to understand yourself first. From there be patient and seek to understand your family and your friends. From there be open, be patient, be considerate, be helpful, be loving. That's what the world needs!
Good morning! Do you ever wonder how other people live? I do sometimes. I saw a picture on the front page of the Times of a group of women sitting behind some thorn bushes and waiting for bread from a relief agency. They were chased from their villages by rebels and had nothing but the clothes on their backs. Can you imagine life like that if it happened to you? We are so fortunate in this country.
Yesterday a student with a gun killed 32 fellow students in Virginia Tech and nobody knows why. Even if they ever find out some things about his reasons, they will never be able to explain such a horrible, unimaginable act. I think of Joanna away at college and I think of the parents of those 32 kids and I sat here this morning and I cried. How much do I love you and Joanna? How much did those parents love their sons and daughters? Totally! Completely! Immeasurably! Words can't describe the feeling of a parent for his child. Everyone is somebody's child. Think about that every time you hear about an accident or flood or famine or war death. Everyone is loved. Everyone is special to someone. We are all loved. I love you Theo!
History unfolds day by day - it never stops - not as long as there are people living on this 3rd rock from the Sun. History goes way back to the first humans and continues right up to this very second. The Iraq war will be an important turning point in the history of America and the world - as will 9-11-2001. This is history you're living. Know what's going on around you. Try to see the connections, the courses, the results. We are all connected - all brothers and sisters. Learn to accept and love and not judge your fellow man. Good luck today!
Ever hear of the Little Rock Nine? Well, Little Rock is the capital city of Arkansas and back in the days when schools were segregated by color, the biggest, best, all-white high school in Little Rock was Central High School and that summer the President ordered school systems to desegregate - meaning that black and white kids had to attend school together. The Little Rock Nine were 9 black kids, boys and girls, who were selected to be the 1st black kids ever to go to Central High. National guard troops and mobs of angry parents surrounded the school and in spite of racist bigotry at it's worst, they did attend and graduate from Central. A hard, hard thing to do. Imagine if you were forced to attend school like that? Could you stand up and do it? You're pretty lucky!
Read the paper this morning and I have to say the news isn't good. Not much about Iraq - or even the election right now - it's all about Wall Street and the Bank Collapse and the credit squeeze. Even the article about the children's exhibit wasn't flattering. It's important to not close your eyes to what's going on around you but at the same time, no matter what, you have to stay optimistic and keep the faith. Trust that things will work out alright as long as you keep working hard and believe. I love you.
Everything came in pairs this morning. First there was the pair of Hasidic women walking up Argyle. Then a man walked by with two dogs on the leash, while off on Coney Island Ave I could hear first one, then two sirens roll by. Last night a pair of star basketball players were the story in a game 7 and on the front page of the Times was a story about a Chinese couple that had been trapped in the earthquake rubble for 28 hours, holding onto each other and talking and helping each other stay alive.
Two people meet and fall in love and the result are two more people to go out into the world and make it a better place. We all need a little help from someone - help to be the best we can be - to keep going and not give up when it gets tough. Take help when it's offered - give help when you see it's needed.