Monday, September 17, 2012
Blessed are the Peacemakers
I do bellwork with my students on a regular basis. It's an activity that allows them to come into the classroom and work on something for a few minutes to get settled down into class mode. It's especially helpful since one of my classes is directly after lunch, and they need to get back into a school mindset. One of the areas I hope to get the students interested in is political cartoons, and the other day I found a really neat cartoon about the death of Ambassador Stevens. It incorporated church and state in an unsual way; usually when the two are intertwined it is done in a mocking way. This cartoon was simple, but beautiful. Because I am working at a Catholic school, I thought it was appropriate to use in the lesson. Had I been at a public institution, I am not sure that I would have used the image, but I am posting it here because it is peaceful to me. It speaks of the legacy of a great man who was taken to soon from a problem he was working actively to fix.
To be honest, I can't say that the death of Ambassador Stevens made me dramatically sad. I did not know him in a way that would make me miss him. What really saddens me is that his death was completely senseless. He was a good man working hard to achieve good in Libya, a country that is in desperate need of help. What saddens and angers me is that his death has come under attack by people in our country, heedless of the feelings of his family and those in government who knew him on a more personal level. So, while I cannot miss a man I can't claim to have known, what I will miss about him is his dedication to the people of Libya, his loyalty to them to help them break free from a stifled society and his clear compassion for the work that he did.
I was so proud of my students for being able to look at this article and discuss it in a mature, respectful manner. I am glad that they are beginning to understand how global politics work and that they are able to see the dangers and problems caused by the attacks in Libya.