Saturday, September 10, 2011

Worthy of Annie Sullivan


While the selfishness of our elected officials continues to muddy the flood waters of America there are still pockets of truly great yet simple people performing beautiful selfless acts.
The things these people do they do out of love and respect for others. And their acts are made all the more wonderful by their obscurity on the National stage and against the backdrop of our government.
That government and the political world in which it resides has turned into a fight between two opposing views. Like the proverbial angel and devil occupying shoulders on either side of the country’s head each has an ear into which they whisper their agenda.
Sadly those whispers have become shouts and they tend to drown out all other thoughts. And we can look forward to continuing this non productive cacophony straight through to next November and beyond.
People’s lives are being adversely affected by the childish political and rhetorical ‘one up man ship’ of the DC buffoons. We are being asked to choose our future leaders from among that group of undeserving egoists.
What could be sadder than that?
And yet amidst the rubble of what used to be the best run country in the world there exist real people who go about their daily business without bothering to listen to CNN, MSNBC or Fox.
They understand what is important at least to themselves and their family.
And more importantly they want to make their corner of the sky a better place in which to live. And they do so without the help of our dysfunctional government.
They expect nothing from Congress nor will they get anything.
In fact what they can look forward to is continued attacks especially from one of the political parties who view their kind as a threat to the American way of life.
I am speaking of teachers and more specifically “Special Ed” teachers.
The leaders of the Republican Party view anyone who wishes to help others as weak. They think of unions as evil entities out to steal money from employers.
But I digress!
On my morning commute into Manhattan I often sit next to a young lady on her way to work. In order to keep her identity a secret for now let me call her Anne.
Anne teaches a class of 8 special needs children with various learning disabilities such as but not limited to autism.
Her ‘students’ call her Anne, at least the ones who can speak.
During a recent ride into work Anne told me about one of her children who had never spoken before but after working with him now recognizes 5 words!
This hard fought breakthrough brought her tremendous pride as well it should.
This past week Anne was carrying two huge shopping bags with her and I jokingly asked if she was leaving town.
“No, silly, I found these things in a store and my kids will love them.”
The bag was filled with toys and items such as portable stick-up lights that glow when squeezed. Some were in the shape of animals and Anne was going to use them to teach and reward correct answers.
She paid for them herself without even thinking about reimbursement.
That shows she is smart as well since the program through which Anne works is federally funded so it will surely come under attack as soon as our politicians get around to it.
But in the meantime she and many of her co-workers continue to enrich the lives of the most innocent and needy of New York.
And who knows, maybe with hard work and continued dedication one of her students or the many others being helped by living saints such as Anne will be able to live unfettered productive lives. And who’s to say one of them won’t be instrumental in finding a cure to their own disability.
To the Anne’s of the World and on behalf of all of us I thank and salute you.

1 comment:

Cousin Bruce said...

I sometimes wonder if anyone reads the blog but then I get a bunch of messages to my email commenting on one story or another. And even though I beg those people to write the comments directly on the blog piece the are talking about they hardly ever seem to do so.
Therefore I will try to copy their thoughts onto the comment portion of the piece for which they saw something and felt it necessary to say something.
This one provoked many comments not the least of which was a woman whose own child suffers with a learning disability.
She naturally felt "Annie" and her kind are wonderful and teared up talking about this.
Thanks to all who sent messages and to all who give of themselves to help others! Would that our politicians could understand that which made our country great in the past.