During the Civil War years when our country’s future could not have been more uncertain, Abraham Lincoln regularly attended the most stable institution of his time: the theatre.
In the depths of the Great Depression the masses flocked to a different darker theatre, sat on their near empty wallets and watched Shirley Temple sing and dance on the silver screen.
And on a cold December evening in 2008, my wife and I walked into Booker T. Washington Elementary School to watch “How the Penguins Saved Christmas”.
We entered into a room that was standing room only. Everyone was facing a stage full of penguins complete with beaks, kazoos, bow ties and white paper bellies. During the performance amidst the harmony of buzzing kazoos and a chorus of kindergartens there was a pause.
That was when Justin walked to the microphone. There began a melody of a still small voice. With every note he silenced the audience and when he finished his solo there was a large ovation from the crowd and jubilation from a mother grinning ear to ear.
We now live in a world where there are financial catastrophes caused by men and women with a surplus of influence and intelligence but a deficit of creative and critical thinking and a product of schools who in years past failed to equip these leaders with the fine art skill of seeing the big picture.
However, in the midst of this chaotic world there stands a stage at Booker T. Washington Elementary, an active principal, an energetic kindergarten staff, wall to wall parents, a talented music teacher and a kindergartener’s voice in the wilderness of southeastern New Mexico preparing a highway to better days…