How does a society descend into horrific intolerance? I grew up in a school system that emphasized the history of the Holocaust. We learned through reading, lectures from Holocaust survivors, film, but it was this movie, Cabaret, based on Chrisopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories and the play based on those stories, I Am a Camera, that put all the pieces together for me. I was a senior in high school when it was released. My friends and I saw it several times. We cheered when it won so many Academy Awards (although it didn’t win Best Picture). The images from the film, the scenes, the music still play in my mind today. I am grateful for this movie for opening my mind and heart.
As an only child, I am grateful that I grew up with so many second and third cousins. My grandmother had 11 brothers and sisters who frequently got together with their families. These are the MN and WI group in the ’60s … most of the family lived in SD, IA, and IL. That community of relatives was important for feeling loved, welcomed, and connected.
Today, something more mundane. We have been working for 30 years to reduce our consumer impact on the planet. It was hard to give up paper towels. I am grateful for these huck cloths. Washable, lint-free, the right size, they can do everything a paper towel could do … and did I say they’re washable? We color code them: pink for the bathroom, green for the kitchen, yellow for the laundry room. It’s further progress toward our goal to lessen our household impact on landfills. I know my grandmother would approve.
I am thankful for the mind-broadening books of Madeleine L’Engle, who introduced this sixth grader to the tesseract (and Mr. Rausch, who read it out loud). My interest in science began with Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin. “Yes! I dare disturb the universe.”
There are few songs that give me hope for our future the way this one does: “Common Denominator.” Written and performed by Tom Lieberman, Tommy & the Liebermen, this is an upbeat, meaningful song (and video) when you need help adding it all up. Have a listen.