June 14, 2021

Let’s Talk ESP Blog: Fighting the Good Fight

Let’s Talk ESP Blog: Fighting the Good Fight Featured Image
Gail Kablau

By Gail Kablau

I started writing this over Memorial Day weekend, so of course my thoughts were with those who fought bravely and died during wartime – never making it home to the land of the free they fought so bravely for. My father fought in WWII and returned with PTSD (although they didn’t call it that back then) and a serious case of survivor’s guilt. But like so many veterans of his age, there were no treatments, no one spoke about it and he just moved on with his life. He used his memories of war to always work towards peace, to always treat others with kindness and respect, and work with those who lost limbs or suffered through years of polio (before there was a vaccine) with physical therapy.

It feels like there are so many “wars” we are all fighting – personal, political, work related, and this last year against a deadly coronavirus. I see it in my colleagues’ faces every day – the fatigue in dealing with all of it. I see it in the faces of my family and those in my personal circle. It’s there in the faces of those who work at the grocery store, the doctor’s office – everywhere I go. I see it in my own face when I look in the mirror every morning.

As we finish out this school year, the war continues with Wisconsin politics continuing to play games with public school funding. How many years do we need to keep fighting this war? And why is it a war? Why aren’t we all on the same page with wanting to have excellent public schools in Wisconsin by funding it with the necessary resources?

What if we all took a page from the book that was my father’s life? What if everyone treated each other with kindness and respect, and worked toward peaceful, common sense solutions? (Anyone else hearing Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World”, right now?)

I know that seems a bit like looking at the world through rose colored glasses, but sometimes we need to step back and look for the good that is around us. The negative energy that emanates from all the fighting needs to be balanced out. We have to fill our tank in order to get where we want to go.

The answers to the big questions need to come from a positive place, in order to have a successful outcome. Every day we hear in the news about someone, or even a country, who chose to solve a problem with violence, which may have solved one problem, but most likely created more. Violence begets violence, hate begets hate – so, the opposite is also true. In order to gain respect, we must give it.

So, yes, I’m tired of fighting. I know you are, too. Let’s all step back for a moment, take a breath, and look for the good around us until we find that positive outlook we need to continue the good fight – fighting for what’s right – in our lives, in our public schools, in our state and in our country.

Let’s move forward by treating those around us with kindness and respect, and work together towards peaceful and common sense solutions. I’m interested in what solutions you come up with. Let’s Talk!

Gail Kablau is the WEAC Education Support Professional (ESP)-at-Large Board RepresentativeContact her at: gdkablau@gmail.com.