Doing the Right Thing

The word ‘epic’ is a slightly overused word these days, but it would certainly be appropriate to use that word to describe the Harry Potter series, especially in the case of the final movie. For those who haven’t read the books or seen the film, don’t worry, there won’t be spoilers here. It’s rare that I say this, but this last film was better than the book. Both, however, involve wonderfully good storytelling with characters that have gotten deeper as the series progressed.

To me, the hero in this series isn’t Harry, but a character who is far more complicated, full of flaws, but chooses to do the right thing because it was the right thing to do: a true leader.

We have a lot of leaders in this country’s government unwilling to collaborate, compromise, or be willing to see what they actually have in common with each other. I try to stay out of politics on this blog unless directly related to education, but I do care about social justice and diversity. So a few weeks ago I happened to be in New York City when the governor signed a marriage equality bill into law in that state. It showed me that there are indeed still leaders out there. My favorite quote was from Republican NY State Senator Roy MacDonald. He said,

“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing.

You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, … I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.

I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.”

I don’t know what the politics or issues of the day will be when the children we teach today are the leaders in the new future. I just hope we manage to teach them to do the right thing when it matters.