21 Comments
Dec 17, 2023·edited Dec 17, 2023Liked by Joshua P. Hill

This is beautiful, and I could go on all day about the damages of cue based reading as described in "Sold a Story" and how it is teaching kids something but that something isn't reading and kicking the can down the road by passing kids through grades without addressing it is impacting their lives in terrible ways for all of us. I know that's not the point you're making but it's painful to someone who has been saved by reading as a child to try to imagine what I would have felt without that ability to escape my reality. I carpool for a mom finishing her BSN and her son told me he hates reading, and he's only ever read one book that wasn't assigned to him. He's almost 13. He's a beautiful, kind, intelligent kid and he has smart parents but they haven't been able to fix this, they don't know how or where to go. How will this child be able to develop critical thinking skills and learn anything well when he's almost to high school and functionally illiterate? (This might be the longest run-on sentence in a lifetime of lengthy tangents, sorry 🖤)

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Connecting, building relationships, and not letting infighting destroy us is so important.

How do we build movements that can support each other instead of trying to prove ours is the only right way?

Because we need all our expertise, experience and strategies.

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This literary piece hits deep. Thank you for taking us back to those pivotal moments of your childhood. Sometimes we must recognize our present state and travel back in time to understand the meaning of our actions. Thanks again for putting perspective into your passion and drive!

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"Reality is mundane when you’re told in so many ways that you can be anything, do anything, that life is supposed to be something grand and wonderful, while your actual experience each day is constituted by math homework and soccer practice."

This is a vivid encapsulation of the drudgery of youth. Extrinsically framed proclamations to keep young people in line. A great reminder that any liberation movement must take seriously youth liberation.

----

"I want to be realistic and pragmatic and I want to change the world much more than I want catharsis. Or rather I have always wanted real change, but in years past I was impatient and naïve, blissfully so at times. Now I have a patience that has come largely from being thwarted, from being wrong about how the world works. There are, of course, moments of rupture, but underneath nearly all of them are years of planning and coordination and nurturing seeds of transformation."

I feel this.

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I am contributing my own ounce of support.

Over the Long Haul 

https://youtu.be/Dbpvla5hG-8?si=JxpOAxU0vV2GOV4I

Sometimes it seems so futile

Sometimes it seems unfair

Sometimes a hard won victory

Later vanishes in the air

Sometimes that slender of hope

Is just too small to see

Sometimes our trials and troubles

Seem greater than you and me

Chorus

It will take many strong arms to move those mountains

It will take faith to lift us when we fall

It will take all the love our hearts can pull together

To sustain us over the long haul

Sometimes we start backsliding

Sometimes we lose our way

Sometimes we lack the fortitude

To plant our flag and stay

But we can recall our courage

And define our destiny

Our faith can raise a fortress

Greater than you and me

Chorus

We have to stand together

Or we'll surely fall apart

It's said the strongest muscle

Is the one we call the heart

We cannot call on progress

To bring equality

But the dream that calls us onward

Is greater than you and me

Chorus

It will take many strong arms to move those mountains

It will take faith to lift us when we fall

It will take all the love our hearts can pull together

To sustain us over the long haul

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This is really lovely. Nothing seems adequate to the moment when genocide is ongoing, covid is continuing to spread without any real efforts to protect anyone and immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and poor people are under attack.

I struggle with how little I can do. With stage IV duodenal cancer on palliative chemo right now most of my efforts are involved in ensuring my husband and animals will be okay when I'm gone but I'd also like to be sure my life counts for something.

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Hi Joshua -- thank you again for an excellent, heartfelt essay. This resonates deeply for me especially as a poet and fellow fantasy-lover. "nothing worth having comes easy": work and time and years of exploration are best, within ourselves and with each other. I do feel fortified, because I know that my voice isn't alone. peace

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What a lovely piece! It feels like every day is a battle to stay present, but the more I do the more I enjoy life. It would be a lie to say I no longer plan ahead-- but I live much more in the moment now. I hope to keep chugging along and get to the right place in my community eventually.

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Excellent lifelong learning story. My brilliant father used to say, Student for Life! I respect your dedication to important causes close to your heart and all the energy spent trying to make the world a better place. I too try to do my bit. There is great book you should read if you haven't already. Gandhi is a personal hero with his militant civil disobedience to fight for social justice and his Satyagraha aka Truth Force philosophy, which is a mix of religions East and West, philosophies and contemporary writers around his time like Tolstoy. Erik Ericsson, the famous child psychologist did a in depth study biography of Gandhi called Gandhi's Truth, and actually went to India to those still alive who were close to him to get a full and honest picture of this icon of history who refused to kill but fought using his and others followers bodies in civil disobedience acts to awaken the moral conscience of his opponents or what later disciple Martin Luther King called moral mental jujitsu. It's a must read for anyone who wants to make the world a better place without resorting to violence or killing. Keep up the great work!

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I think we all have to find the patience to slow down and sound things out, from time to time. It is such a difficult road, trying to rebuild and start afresh, and as you point out, everything feels so urgent. I very much sympathise with your seven year old self in that regard!

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Thank you so much Joshua about sharing your personal struggles with reading...as someone who only recently "relearned" how to read (at age 52!) I think there is so much shame that halts people, freezes us in shame. Hearing that others struggle is a BIG deal.

And the focus onto thinking long term, of seeing ourselves as connected to both the past & the future- yes, we need this as an antidote to our impatient culture.

"I slip into fantasy, into escape and numbness from time to time, but today I crave intimate contact with reality. I want to be realistic and pragmatic and I want to change the world much more than I want catharsis. Or rather I have always wanted real change, but in years past I was impatient and naïve, blissfully so at times. Now I have a patience that has come largely from being thwarted, from being wrong about how the world works. There are, of course, moments of rupture, but underneath nearly all of them are years of planning and coordination and nurturing seeds of transformation."

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Thank you Joshua. I wrote about something similar to the planting seeds aspect of your post. I thought you might want to read. https://lovelessons.substack.com/p/love-is-an-action?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

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Lovely ❤️

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