Thursday, May 03, 2007
Persistence and Compassion
Several parents have expressed to me that they are particulary glad that we are involved in a project that can continue into the next year and give the children some continuity of purpose. As a condition of our culture, we are trained to start something, get some experience and then go on to something else. We focus only for so long until we get distracted and pick up the next thing.
But our souls require gazing. Our souls require languishing on a lake in the moonlight, taking the time to watch the sun settle into the corner of the lake, and then waiting for the moon to rise over the glassy surface. Our souls require focusing on something that lasts and makes an impression.
One reason I have become so involved in this project is that it is so personal. There is an opportunity to follow it through. This is not just protest, but it is action. This is discovering a problem, finding a solution, and doing the best you can with all your resources to make it happen. Ariane is doing that in Niger. The students around the world who are helping are doing that as well. We are working toward the same goal.
This is not easy work for any of us. For Ariane in Niger there are all the challenges associated with doing something that has not been done before. For some teachers who have brought this project to their community, there is the challenge of conveying the importance for it that they feel to others. For students wanting to help, there is the challenge of taking the time to research, tell others and fundraise.
But all of this comes with much joy, for when passion and possibility mix, the drive to purse despite challenges and obstacles moves us forward. This is the model that Ariane has brought to us. A model of persistence fueled by compassion. A model of tangible change that reaches out and touches you back in the very place that inspired you to give in the first place.
In the last few days, I have heard many stories from schools that reflect the personal nature, compassion and persistence that has defined this project since we first heard about it from Ariane. Many students, parents, teachers and administrators are taking action in their communities.
A short list of some of those stories follows:
Palm Harbor Montessori students raised over $3500 in spare change and contributions for A Month Without Water that culminated on Earth Day.
Oneness-Family Middle School students have a snow cone business where 50% of their profits will go toward Amman Imman's mission in the Azawak.
Five Oaks Academy is planning a school-wide water awareness day this month and planning to raise funds for Amman Imman.
Students at Montessori Stepping Stones in Michigan collected change and dollars, raising over $700 for A Month Without Water. The children collected change and inspired the parents.
A Oneness-Family School parent, Birgit Maier, sponsored a bake sale through through the IMF Family Association, raising $1500 for Amman Imman.
Montessori by the Sea in the Cayman Islands plans to hold an Asian Art Festival this spring, an idea inspired by a fourth year student who has taken an interest in Asian Art and Amman Imman. All proceeds will go toward Amman Imman.