23 November 2009

100 Issues for 100 Days: #99

#99: 99 Problems (The Penultimate Post)

Today is it. It's the day before the day. The moment before the moment. To be honest, I never thought I'd get here. And I know I've spent at least 40 of these posts whining about my day (either for a lack of something to write or because I was so tired and frustrated it was all I could write about). But I don't want to get into reflecting on this experience yet. What I want to talk about is spirit.

We had a spirit day at school. It was the first of it's kind. The kids cheering on their soccer team right before the championships. The student council sold ribbons and painted faces and everyone lined up to cheer them on as they headed towards the game.

I find it ironic that at my job where so much is said about community, has only now (after 3 soccer championships and an almost undefeated basketball season) had a pep rally. The truth is that building the culture and spirit of a community is what keeps people there. It's why people create community gardens and intramural softball teams. And I think that spirit of community is dying.

How many times have I ridden the bus, earphones in, ignoring the people around me? How many times have you? I think spirit is one of the hardest things to build but it can also be the easiest to breakdown. Even looking at politics, the wonderful generosity of spirit that was built during Obama's campaign has for the most part died away. Our communities thrive on replenishing that fire. I wonder if most of society's ills stem from the part of our spirit that is slowly dying.

On a positive note, I saw some of that spirit revived today. So as always I have hope. And I hope that after today, the powers that be where I am continue to make building community a priority. In order to get students to work hard you have to build a community they want to work hard for.

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