It’s impossible to feel comfortable if we’re always comfortable. This baffling contradiction, a first-world happiness blocker, is difficult to embrace. Yet, once understood, it enhances life by amplifying pleasure. It’s why I encourage my students to run in the dark. In developing countries, where discomfort is the norm, physical comfort is evanescent. In Nicaragua, for example, hungry kids walk to school, take cold showers (with buckets) and sleep in cramped homes with spotty (if any) electricity. In contrast, many American and developed-world kids are cursed with comfort. They’re chauffeured to school and to formal, parent-planned organized activities. They settle into soft, comfy beds in
What Should We Talk About?
My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.
It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”
I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.