I checked my home e-mail account for the first time in several days on Friday afternoon and noticed that there were several messages flying back and forth among members of one of my Sunday School classes at church. One message said to go to the WBHM website (our local public radio station) to listen to Jay’s Saxon’s interview (you may need Quicktime).
Normally I’m pretty up to date on most international events, partially a remnant of habits I picked up from my father of buying (or now reading online) newspapers on a Sunday and feeling compelled to read some of each. And no, I didn’t always read the news; comics are a great section, even now. The recent string of surprises occurring in life has caused a disconnect with most news. I must say that I had no idea of how crazy things were beginning to get half way around the world. It also made me a sick knowing that while word was that Jay was safe and while I have still not met him as of yet, that there was someone that was sitting in harm’s way and that we are somewhat helpless, unable to do anything but wait.
The story began to finally make sense to me today as I was able to hear what was going on directly from Jay’s father, John. The hope is that he will be able to leave Lebanon for safety in the immediate future, hopefully returning home to Alabama before the situation escalates more than it already has in the past week (due to the hostage taking).
The internet and cell phones have no doubt made this situation bearable for parents that want nothing more than their son to return home safely. Jay’s parents, John and Betsy, have been nothing but great to Bets and me as we still attempt to become acclimated to life in Birmingham. In a city where I’ve been told that you will never truly feel as though you belong, they’ve made us feel welcome. I would ask you to keep him and the other approximately 25,000 U.S. citizens currently in Lebanon in your prayers as that is all that I can offer at this time to them.
Visit one of these links to get more information about what’s going on with the current conflict:
It can become remarkable…IF we all work TOGETHER
Bets handed me the Sunday paper and I opened it to the Commentary section, (not exactly what I normally do). The headline at the top of the page, despite my recent interest in the situation in Lebanon being discussed above the fold, intrigued me:
(Our city schools can become remarkable, The Birmingham News, 7.16.2006)
While I think there will be additional posts written on the topic, I find it interesting that one theme may be overlooked in the analysis of Superintendent Sims’ op-ed; the idea of “we” with regards to righting this ship. Much of the conversation I’ve heard previously in town has revolved around someone else solving education for us. People are quick to pass the blame to someone else and not necessarily willing to assist in solving the problem. It is one of the things that I have yet to understand about the city, despite efforts being made by several people to make the situation better. Sims seems to have stated in his commentary that the usual excuses will no longer be acceptable and that cooperation is necessary. The question now becomes can our community stop playing the blame game long enough to work together for a solution, or will be continue to wait for someone to solve the problem for us. In a twisted way, Dr. Sims may be the one person necessary to fix this problem for us… by making us realize that we are the solution to the problem.