For a guy with a PhD, I absolutely hated going back to school. Every August, I would see the stores putting up their “back to school” advertisements and I’d shiver in pain at the thought of being confined to a chair for 7 hours a day. Lately though, I am thinking about this much differently.
Like many Americans, seeing the images from Afghanistan has been heart wrenching. We have heard from SEALs, service members and military personnel who are deeply struggling with what has evolved. When we see what’s happening, the most powerful feelings are often out of compassion and worry about the people of Afghanistan, the every day citizens, and especially the women and children. I do not pretend to have the foggiest idea what a nation can or should do in this situation. Instead, I focus on what I can control in a healthy way. I am choosing to focus on compassion, and gratitude.
May we feel compassion for the people, women and children in particular, of Afghanistan. May their future to be brighter than we imagine, may they be treated with dignity and respect.
May we feel gratitude for the sacrifice made by our nation’s military and families on behalf of us all. May they KNOW that their sacrifice made a difference. May we we have faith that the future of Afghanistan will be better because of their work and sacrifice.
May we all enjoy and be grateful for what we have here and what it means to us all, for freedom of course, but also for the gift of education which sows the fields for our nation’s flourishing, and is accessible to all.
We at the C4 Foundation know and are humbled by the sacrifice of our Navy SEALs and their families. We encourage anyone who served to reach out and talk to their fellow brethren and know that they are not alone in their pain, anger, worry, or whatever they may be feeling. We will continue to host families at the Ranch, and foster a healthy resilience, through gratitude and optimism, and are with you on the journey.
As I prepare to teach my classes for the Fall, I am doubly enthusiastic to partake in the great tradition of going back to school, helping my students in any way I can — especially encouraging them to spend as much time as they can outdoors.