Saturday I went to the funeral of a high school classmate, Judith Bennett. Sunday I went to see the movie Won’t Back Down. Both events made me think about making the same change in my life.
Judy was a classmate whom I’d lost touch with since graduation and only visited a few times since I returned to my hometown three years ago. During her funeral, several friends explained how Judy always seemed to know when they needed a listener or comforter. She made regular phone calls and email contacts, and she invited friends to meet for dinner or for trips to places like Alaska and Las Vegas. I rarely responded to her contacts.
In the movie Won’t Back Down, two mothers, one a teacher also, won’t accept that their children must attend a failing school. They understand the consequences of a poor education and can’t let that be their children’s futures. Even with almost insurmountable obstacles to using The Parent Trigger law, these women hang onto the hope that they can make a difference in the lives of children in one elementary school. I, too, have often felt the call to do something to change systems that promote injustices. The difference between the movie’s protagonists and me is that I give up when people don’t immediately rally around my vision.
The common theme of Judy’s life, as told at her funeral, and the new movie Won’t Back Down is to stay involved in the lives of people important to us, and to show them we care by doing what matters to them–even when opposition and other opportunities try to pull us away.