Giving Thanks for Our Shared Humanity

Bobcat Families,

As many of us gather together today to celebrate Thanksgiving, this most American of holidays, we have the opportunity to spend time with those we cherish. This is a time to see friends and family we may not spend time with most of the year.

And while this is a special day to feel good about the everyday things that are important to us (whose sports team is winning, who has the best job, who brought the tastiest dish or who voted for whom), the purveyance of one’s personal opinions and values can sometimes overpower the nature of what the day should be about.

Today, I propose that we think beyond the moment to appreciate those things that bring together our shared humanity. Those values that we collectively cherish and hold dear to all of our hearts. Those experiences that lift us all up, together.

As President of our Don Benito PTA, I have a perspective on this. I can tell you that every single day, I see humanity and grace from our parent and teacher community and there are real things that to all who read this message can be thankful for, regardless of any of our individual viewpoints.

First of all, we should give thanks for the fine teachers of Don Benito. They give so much of their time, energy and physical being to strongly guide the journey of learning for our children. They are such capable people and it’s because of their skill that their work appears easy to the untrained eye. I can assure you, having collaborated with each and every one of them, that it is not. If you haven’t hugged your child’s teacher yet, I strongly suggest that you try it. They know we love them, but they need to hear the words. And they appreciate those words.

We should also give thanks for our principal, custodians, nurses, librarian, music, lunch & office staff and all the people you might not see working behind the scenes to ensure that our school runs as smoothly as it does. They certainly don’t do these thankless jobs for glamor or fame. But they do them so capably and our children benefit from their fortitude, every single day.

And for me, I am most thankful for you, our valuable PTA members. The abundant time you put into our school is humbling to witness and it makes me strive to be the best person I can be, with whatever I do. Furthermore, your membership makes it possible for us to continue valuable programs for our children (like our room parent program, Science & Art docent programs, social events, After-School Enrichment, and so much more). Remember, your work to support Don Benito and public education is vital. I might argue, that at this moment, nothing could be more so. During our recent Autumn Carnival, I felt that collective energy on full display, and I could feel how much of a family we all are. We are special.

So today, as you enjoy this day of giving thanks, it is my wish that we all take the time to spread the message of shared humanity and gratitude for those truly important things in life that we all cherish and hold true to our hearts. Know that we all make a positive difference in the lives of others. We are actively shaping the world we live in, right here and right now.

From my family to yours, we wish you all our love and deepest respect for all that you do.

Happy Thanksgiving

Scott Harden
Don Benito PTA