Over the last three and a half years, I have encountered many issues to be angry and upset about. For those who read my articles, you know very well what those matters are. The last three general elections have been particularly disappointing, but this week, I find myself focusing on gratitude and the positives that have arisen from the negatives.
I am thankful that I am financially secure and do not have to stress about the prices of gas or groceries. There are many people who are not in that situation. I am grateful that I have the financial resources to send my children to the school of our choice. Far too many parents, especially in our most impoverished areas, are not that fortunate.
I am thankful that I trusted my instincts during the lockdowns and spoke out about the harm to children. While the outcomes were more dire than even I predicted, I am grateful that the mainstream media is finally reporting on the devastation of student achievement, particularly in the most distressed communities.
I am proud of my accomplishments during these incredibly challenging times. I am thankful that my children witnessed me standing up and speaking out even when it resulted in nastiness from people I previously called friends. I am truly grateful that these former friends revealed their true colors so that I could walk away and never doubt that it was the right decision.
I am thankful for all the new friends and colleagues that I gained as a result of speaking out. Individuals that I would never have befriended previously have become trusted allies. I learned not to judge people on superficial issues and to understand that you don’t agree with everyone on every matter.
There are so many parents who have supported me along this journey. They express appreciation for my courage to speak up because many of them are not in a position to do so. Some are public about it and others are private, but every text or email that I receive with a note of encouragement or thanks is truly a gift. And for each of these parents and their support and gratitude, I am genuinely thankful.
I am incredibly thankful for my friends who stood by me even when they disagreed with me. They had the courage to discuss their views and listen to my opinions. These friends could have abandoned years of friendship, but they chose not to. One dear friend had the courage to tell me that I was right, and he was wrong about everything. While I am not sure that is 100 percent true, I am grateful for that confession, and it further solidified our friendship. One friend like that is all that I need. Thankfully, I have gained many more.
Through this journey, I found my voice, and Broad + Liberty gave me the opportunity to express it. I am thankful for this unimaginable gift and the amazing team at this very important media outlet. Without Broad + Liberty, we would be stuck with only the local liberal media and their spin on the issues. We are able to hold these outlets accountable and provide a counter to their narrative, and for that I am grateful.
I am also thankful for all my readers, especially those who comment on my articles publicly and those who send me private messages. I am particularly grateful for my readers who disagree with me, yet continue to read every word I write. Thank you for investing so much of your time to listen to my opinions and to share yours.
Finally, I am grateful beyond words to my family. My husband and children bore the brunt of my actions, but they stood by me every step of the way. My parents and my brother were my biggest cheerleaders, pushing me to continue the fight and telling me how proud they are of me for standing up and refusing to be silenced. My family got me through my darkest times and helped me find my voice.
As we enter the holiday season, I think about my favorite movie, It’s A Wonderful Life. Yes, it is sappy, but so am I! George Bailey realized the full impact of his life only after Clarence, the angel, showed him what the world would be like without him. Apparently, I did not need an angel, only a misinformed, debacle public health response to a virus to understand how fortunate I am and the impact that I have had on others.
In the midst of the shutdowns, virtue signaling, and misguided policies, I never would have imagined being thankful. Yet, here I am, and I would not change anything. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I am grateful for the experience and the opportunity to stand up for those who could not.
Wishing all of our readers, especially those who disagree with us, a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Beth Ann Rosica resides in West Chester, has a Ph.D. in Education, and has dedicated her career to advocating on behalf of at-risk children and families. She covers education issues for Broad + Liberty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.