Write of Center

Nov 29 2019
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As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it is appropriate to acknowledge that there is truly much to be thankful for in our community, state, and nation.

Quite often it is the simple everyday things that make a profound difference in our quality of life. If you look, you will see it all around you; it is not difficult to see a lot of good here in Boerne.

Several weeks ago, all Boerne ISD campuses held programs that honored our nation’s veterans. I was fortunate to attend the assembly held at Curington Elementary School. To say the event was heartwarming is putting it mildly.

Along all the hallways were homemade posters thanking the veterans for their service to our nation. Veteran and parent Matt Dayoc addressed the students on the meaning of service and sacrifice, and before the speech and afterwards students sang several songs, including our national anthem and God Bless America. Unlike at church, where the words to songs are posted on a large screen, this was not necessary as the students knew the words to these songs and sang loudly and joyfully.

After the assembly I visited several first-grade classes to read to students a book about Thanksgiving. I then asked the students what they were thankful for. The answers were varied and lengthy, and included gratitude for their wonderful teachers and school, their families, the food they have to eat, the clothing they have to wear, the veterans who work hard to keep us free, and God and Jesus Christ.

One child mentioned that he was grateful for America, and I asked him to be more specific. He went on to mention a long list of things about our nation that he appreciated. I thought to myself, ‘what wisdom from such a young child. If only some of our nation’s politicians could have heard this student; perhaps they would see the glass as half full instead of their non-stop grumbling and complaining about our nation’s ills.’ Life is much more joyful if you remain optimistic and hopeful.

Later that week I read a tweet from Boerne High School teacher Karli Smith Shirley, and wanted to share this with readers. Under the headline “We are Boerne” Karli shared the following; “This morning I had to run off campus during my conference period. I was about halfway to my car when I hear the announcements chime on. It was cold and raining and I shamefully wondered for just a moment if I could make it to my car before the pledge began. But then I saw something that humbled me beyond words. I glanced up and counted seven kids standing respectfully and patiently in the cold rain waiting to recite the pledge. Some were near their cars, others were closer to the flag itself, but they all stood with hands over their hearts and hats off. No cell phones! No earbuds! They ALL just stopped without a second thought. It might seem like a small thing, but it reminded me how truly great our Boerne kids are….even if we lose sight of it on occasion amidst the craziness of teaching teenagers.”

You have to feel good when you read stories such as the one Karli shared. As a good friend of mine, veteran Charlie Weatherbee, shared after seeing the posters at Curington, “What I saw the kids create was really touching. It makes me feel better about the future of our country.”

We also see in this newspaper examples of students learning the meaning of thanks and giving.

 Last Friday I was fortunate to attend an assembly at Geneva School where the students presented a large number of gifts to the Hill Country Pregnancy Care Center. The center provides significant material assistance to parents for both their present and future children. The school conducted a well-organized drive in all grades to produce a bounty of diapers, clothing, and other necessary baby items. Headmaster Jessica Gombert spoke to students of the importance of both being thankful and also giving, two key lifelong lessons.

We also read in this past Tuesday’s newspaper of how a large number of Voss Middle School students spent a day of service at numerous non-profit facilities around the school district. Voss Principal Dr. Beto Hinojosa stated, “We are so grateful for our students and their hearts for our community.”

It is indeed essential that our youth be taught the significance of service to others, and as you can see from the above-mentioned examples, this spirit of giving thanks and service to others is alive and well in our community. That is something we can all be grateful and thankful for.