Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it's ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'”
I am watching an interesting phenomenon take place in our country, and the teacher in me has something to say to the youth who have decided to stand up and make a difference. I admire you, I am proud of you, and I will continue to have your back, but I want to remind you that the strength you are showing has been come by honestly. It is in your genes, your DNA, your blood.
I know that many of you feel that you have been let down by the “older generation,” but nothing is further from the truth. It was your grandparents’ grandparents who had the fortitude to leave their families and all that was familiar in the early 1900’s, and they marched to a new land so that their children and grandchildren could live in a country where they would be free, safe and welcomed. They worked long hours doing menial labor to raise the funds to bring their families to join them in this great country, so one day you, their future generation, would have the right to speak your mind and be heard.
It was your grandparents who marched, and sometimes died, in the 1950’s and 60’s to bring equality to all people. They marched for voting rights, they marched for integrated schools and they marched so all children would feel safe. Their marching worked! In 1955 In Brown II, the Supreme Court ordered the lower federal courts to require desegregation of schools "with all deliberate speed,” and when desegregation didn’t happen fast enough, they kept on marching until it did. The Voting Rights Act signed by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, worked to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African- Americans from voting. Yes, your grandparents, both black and white, worked side by side to see that everyone could safely cast their vote.
Then, in the later sixties and early seventies, when our country became embroiled in a war that they didn’t believe in, they marched, and some died, to end the war and bring our soldiers home. Their cause was as important to them as yours is to you, and they felt just as disgusted with their politicians as you do with yours. Those grandparents who marched beside you in Washington and the hundreds of other marches around the world on March 24th, marched with experienced feet and hearts filled with hope. The older generation didn’t drop the ball guys, they were just patiently waiting for you to catch it.
Might I also remind you, that good old Bob Dylan belongs to that older generation.
When you loudly sing the lyrics,
“Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’”
remember that the man who wrote those lyrics is now seventy-seven years old, and he watched many times go “a-changing,” as your grandparents loudly sang those same lyrics.
Try to remember, when you feel you can’t trust any adults, that student organizer Jack Weinberg, who coined the phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30” in the 1960’s is seventy-eight today, and he probably has a different perspective on things now. He knows that there is a wealth of information to be gleaned from those who you look at as walking down “a rapidly agin’ old road,” and they are anxious to lend you a hand if you let them. Together we will show the world that America always was, is now, and always will be GREAT!
I read a fun book this week and wanted to share it with you. 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Hardin just might make your jaw drop as the authors share a host of historical, scientific and silly facts with their readers. It is a great way to forget all of the craziness in our world today and would make a good gift for the trivia buffs in your life.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.
We at Madderly Review wish all that celebrate Passover or Easter a very happy holiday.