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The new Princess may have more in common with thousands of American women than is first evident.
After all the fuss and flurry of an exceptionally celebrated Royal Wedding…she returns to a small town to fulfill a serious calling, that of an Army wife. An Army Officer’s wife. It means that her immediate community is made up of people who are serving their country by waiting and acting on behalf of two – but doing so alone.
I have heard from many wives of Service Members that they consider their entire family to be in the Service. The service of the spouse who is not active military is tireless and rarely touted. Each day, particularly if the spouse who remains at home (sometimes it’s a man serving in the home while the woman of the house is deployed) has children to tend, the load is a 200% load. For in staying at home they are doing their best to fulfill both roles.
One military family I know took a holiday this summer with a life size replica of their Service Man…they called him “flat daddy” and he traveled everywhere with them. American service wives will perhaps understand a Princess who considers her first priority not all the “royal obligations” but making sure she first fulfills her role as the member of the household who stays behind, and endures the implications of waiting.
Technology makes it possible for us to peer into the Royal Couple’s lives and have a better understanding of what is ahead for Kate Middleton in her new role as an Army Wife. Technology serves many other viable roles in the lives of the American “princesses” who serve their country by supporting the homefront world of the one who is deployed. Thankfully technology eases the tension of waiting. It allows family members a view into life in a deployed location unlike any other time in military history. This goes a long way toward reducing the anxiety of being a spouse or a family eager to have their soldier whole and home
When the news calls attention toward this one lovely Army wife living in a small town on the other side world…let it call our attention and appreciation to all the military spouses on our own soil who quietly serve our country by remaining at home, and waiting.
“The government is the strongest of which every man feels a part. Thomas Jefferson”
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa”
“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. George Washington”
“The time is always right to do what is right. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
“I leave you hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal. Abraham Lincoln”
“Pessimism never won any battle. Dwight Eisenhower”
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. Nelson Mandela”
“We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others. John F. Kennedy”
Name them. Go ahead. Just recollect the teachers that steered you, directed you, challenged you into becoming the WHO that you are today.
In this, National Teacher Appreciation Week, absent the opportunity to speak to your teachers directly, notice what and how YOU teach others. For, in some way, we are all teachers of something to someone.
Enjoy this piece that the folks at maryanneradmacher.com let me post! And these quotes on teaching:
“Those who cannot rememer clearly their own childhood are poor educators. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1893)
“It is always easier…to manipulate the child to fit the theory than to adjust the theory to suite the child – provided, of course, one is very careful not to look at the child. Judith Groch, The Right To Create, (1969)”
“We already have so much pressure towards sameness through radio, film and comic outside the school, that we can’t afford to do a thing inside that is not toward individual development. Sylvia Ashton-Warner, Teacher, (1963)”
“Intellectual freedom,of course, implies intellectual diversity. Frances FitzGerald, Fire In The Lake, (1972)”
“The trouble with education is that we always read everything when we’re too young to know what it means. And tthe trouble with life is that we’re always too busy to re-read it later. Margaret Barnes, Years of Grace (1930)”
“The world of education is like an island where people, cut off from the world, are prepared for life by exclusion from it. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind (1949)”
The repercussions of this news will ring throughout the world.
I said to my husband last, “This is so very odd to experience such relief and gratitude at someone’s death.” Such feelings are outside my experience. I was trained as an Oregon Safe Hunter when I was eleven. Hunting with my father at twelve, we both realized I would be a SAFE hunter, but not a successful one. When faced with living eyes in the scope of my rifle, I could not pull the trigger. My stint as a hunter was a short one.
So to celebrate the death of one, even one so bent as this man, was new in my make up. I understood the rejoicing, the satisfaction, the sense of justice. I understood that we were looking at a marking post in our war in terror, not a victory. I understood that someone, some where, must have loved this man and mourn his passing. When the light of breath extinguishes off the planet…repercussions are felt. I cannot know them all.
But I do know this: cultures can be assessed by the way they treat their children and their animals. Not considering the atrocities and crimes committed by this man, the accounts of his treatment of his children and his animals are shameful. Untenable. Not to be modeled or tolerated.
Yesterday Osama bin Laden was killed. And our President stood to his nation and delivered the news. In the delivery he thanked and honored the military persons in service to our country. I soldier that I am familiar with has adopted a renegade hedge hog – a small creature that he and his platoon now care for. Sir Paul McCartney has said, “You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
There are larger issues at play here. Global issues. To make sense of this matters of great consequence I must break it down into terms I can grasp. I have to reach for the things that have resonance with my own life experience. This man whose life was taken asked his own children to commit suicide. He brought harm to those closest to him. And that is the inner circle of harm that radiated outward, around the world.
Today I do not ring the bells. I do not stand among a crowd cheering. I reflect, quietly, on my own experience of the horrors that this one man wrought. And the gratitude I feel toward this marking post on our journey toward a different way of being in the global community. The repercussions of this news continue to ring throughout the events of my own day.
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COURAGE DOESN'T ALWAYS ROAR book review
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