Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lankes, Hope, and Taking Heart

Earlier this month, David Lankes, a professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, wrote a piece he called "The Loss of Hope" which describes in part his response to fighting cancer.  It’s very moving and I found myself returning to it in recent days, particularly as he says:

"You see, that’s the thing about hope – it is not a guarantee or a promise. It is a prayer, and desire, and it lies at the core of making this world a better place. We fight inequity, poverty, corruption because we hope for a better day. We teach because we hope we can impart some idea that will blossom into a better world for all. We raise children in hopes of a better future…"

As we discuss our profession and our role, we often comment on the unique perspective of librarians and the many strengths and talents with which we impact our learning communities.  In fact, our recent Board of Education Presentation highlighted Library Department contributions and connections.  This, in turn, made me think about the video called “Empathy … the Human Connection” from Cleveland Clinic:

In another example, PBS reported on how teachers and researchers in Palo Alto are teaching students to combat the traumas of poverty on the yoga mat. It’s a way of expressing hope through attempting to reach the whole child and improving the educational environment by reducing stress. 

So often, we do not realize what others are experiencing or even begin to sense the lens through which they are looking. As the video says, "If you could stand in someone else's shoes, hear what they hear, see what they see, feel what they feel, would you treat them differently?"  Do take heart. Do continue to hope.

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