I was just finishing up my daily lessons on Motivating Mississippi, read Bill Maher's latest column about how what we eat is making us stupid, and recalled a student asking me for help yesterday. Suddenly, I felt the first genuine smile I have had in weeks come to my lips, and then the sun came out.
The student is a single mother with two young children, and she is very intelligent and hard-working and takes her school very seriously. She parents the same way, just having taken her young son to hear the Dali Lama in Memphis on Wednesday. After the policy class, she walked out with me and said she might need my help on something she had "gotten herself into." Her children's school received money from the Reinvestment and Recovery funds to increase parental participation in their children's education. They sent out letters of invitation for "Muffins with Mom, Hotdogs with Dad."
She marched herself up to the school and asked to talk with the administration. She pointed out that Mississippi is number 1 in the nation for obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure and the last thing we needed to be doing was adding to that. She had read the stipulations for how the money was to be spent, and had a list of suggestions for activities that would increase parental participation without a junk-food feeding frenzy. I was thrilled: policy advocacy in action.
I choose to regain my sense of what is possible, and move to standing in the inquiry, not the circumstances. Even if it does start to rain again.