Smoke Gets in your Eyes

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

#leadership #bethatteacher #masa #MiEd

The sunrise was so hazy today.

I’ve learned that this is the result of the fires that are burning thousands of acres in America’s west and northwest regions. These areas are over a day and a half car ride away. Yet, there is smoke in our Michigan skies. This smoke can be seen from the Space Station.

Living in Michigan with its multitudes of lakes, rivers, wetlands, and ponds, our dilemma is often quite the opposite. Too much water.

Yet, I think that hazy sunrise has given me pause today. Our land is hurting.

I am thinking of all my friends that are scattered across the West Coast. I am wondering what kind of nightmare these firestorms create. I am praying for a solution that will save our land from the dry brittle conditions. I am hoping that my American brothers and sisters out there can recover.

I don’t claim to know how to mitigate fires. I am reading like crazy though. Finding out how this gets to the level that it has. Wondering how America heals not only from a Pandemic, but also from Hurricanes, Racial Unrest, Abuse of Power, hordes of locusts, and loss of jobs.

How does this country find a common ground with which to begin?

If you have ever seen Lake Michigan when it is churned up and filled with whitecaps, you can actually see the riptides as each wave pulls away from shore. It is a smooth spot with the pull-push momentum strong enough to overwhelm a swimmer and take them out to sea. They look smooth and somewhat innocent. Sadly, these rips have taken the lives of many innocent swimmers this summer. Caught unaware and once overtaken, the swimmer panics and often does not know the steps to take to survive.

It is not unlike the opinion driven social media rantings or watching the news networks these days. Even when one feels, in their gut, that the message they are touting is fundamentally wrong or without basis, they are swept into the melee of pushing their views forward, feeling the power of their words, as they pull their readers out to sea to strike the like button or make a comment.

Life rings along the pier have saved many people on the Lakes during the past few years. Concerned citizens throw them out, with all their might, hoping a swimmer in distress will grab on and be pulled to safety. Once on shore, the saved swimmer vows to never go in again when the the water is deemed dangerous.

But what of the groups of people surrounding this person? Those other swimmers that seem to take no notice of dangerous water or red flags, as they and their children get pummeled by the surf without a care?. They feel it is their right, somehow. That rules don’t matter or apply to them. It's one thing to take a risk but quite another when others are put in harm's way to save you.

As we teachers, parents, citizens, survivors of 2020 look forward to navigate the multitude of crises our nation faces, a common leadership needs to step in with rules and action plans. There simply is no room for arguments and false information when our country is facing unprecedented strife. We all have a stake in saving America from itself.


This is not time to grandstand and riot. No longer should there be a political spin that creates division and bumps and bullies its way to the finish line. If as much emphasis and energy went into mask wearing or not, or even simply feeling for others as if we are ONE team, we could solve so many of these problems.

Our government agencies cannot agree. There is a bitterness in our human spirit on many fronts. This might just be the most overwhelming catastrophe of them all.

It is up to us, America.

This is our wake up call.

It is up to us to lead.

We are the people the Constitution represents.


Thanks for listening.

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