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“Suffering teaches us gratitude. Normally we take love and friendship for granted. But in seasons of suffering we throw ourselves on others and appreciate the gifts that our loved ones offer. Suffering puts you in solidarity with others who suffer. It makes you more sympathetic to those who share this or some other sort of pain. In this way it tenderizes the heart.Suffering calls for a response. None of us can avoid suffering, but we can all choose how we respond to it. … Many people respond to pain by practicing generosity.”

-David Brooks, The Second Mountain

During this incredibly challenging time, a time of collective suffering if you will, the hope, inspiration, generosity and service of our public school teachers, staff and administrators has been nothing short of remarkable.

This is no doubt a terrible time for our nation, for humanity, for our local communities, for our economy and certainly for our children. We don’t know yet to what extent this will unfold, but we know it is a tragedy. There is no sugarcoating it.

Yet, through such tragedy and suffering, there is much hope. In a world of abundance, we have often taken too many things for granted. And for far too many years, people have been so divided in so many ways.

But COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. It treats us as one, and our response, therefore, must be as one. To the degree that we find solidarity in this crisis as humans, recognize the inspiration of our teachers and public schools and first responders, become a more sympathetic and compassionate world, and demonstrate generosity of heart and service, we will find the hope and strength to persevere.

Thank you for rising to the occasion, and for your generous, servant hearts. You tenderize our hearts and fill us all with such hope.

-TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown, Ed.D.