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Stop the Hate

January 30th, 2017

Students bullied because they look or act different … students discriminated against because of race or religion … students who know misery because of peers’ unkind words and actions … I’ve been immersed in essays about such things as a reviewer for an essay contest sponsored by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Ohio.  My heart has been wrenched by vivid, distressing details and then uplifted as students described resolution and positive action taken.

The name of the contest drew me in:  Stop the Hate.  When a colleague put out word that the Museum needed readers, I signed up immediately.  Like many of you, I’ve been especially troubled by the vitriol of the election season, by the fact that people with differing opinions no longer seem willing to hear one another, let alone show kindness to one another.  Sadly, The New York Times has even seen fit to start a weekly series called, “This Week in Hate.”

Our actions in matters large and small can either push back against what we feel to be wrong, reflect complacency or, worse still, feed the hate. I choose the first.  Reading essays for the “Stop the Hate” contest isn’t a big step but a first step for me; in my interactions with advisees and in volunteer mode, I hope to have an impact on people’s ability and willingness to understand one another.  As a reader for the essay contest, I hoped to be inspired by the next generation and I wasn’t disappointed.  Perhaps my own words and actions can stir others.

There’s no time like the present to think about what matters to us and what we can do to further causes that we believe in.  What are you doing to make the world what you’d like it to be?  We’ll welcome responses from students and parents alike and may share a compilation of replies in a future blog post.

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius


End note:  the essay contest is for students residing in counties in and around Cleveland, Ohio and the deadline has passed for this year’s competition.

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