Shin­ing ex­am­ples who in­spire hope

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Neg­a­tive sto­ries of­ten dom­i­nate the news so I was heart­ened on a re­cent Saturday by two ar­ti­cles in the Val­ley Voices sec­tion of The Bee. In the first, John Min­kler de­scribed his civic ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram, in which stu­dents are taught to be par­tic­i­pants in our democ­racy, not just pas­sive ob­servers. These for­tu­nate stu­dents are learn­ing by do­ing, the best kind of learn­ing there is. Ku­dos to those teach­ers he works with who are will­ing to put in the ex­tra time and en­ergy that this kind of pro­gram re­quires.

Then to my sur­prise, an ar­ti­cle di­rectly be­low Min­kler’s de­scribed an in­spir­ing ex­am­ple of this type of ac­tive ci­ti­zen­ship. Pauline Tor­res, fresh out of high school, de­scribed her con­cern about her fu­ture and the fu­ture of oth­ers in re­gard to cli­mate change. Her care and con­cern took her to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., where she ad­vo­cated for a House bill, the En­ergy In­no­va­tion and Car­bon Div­i­dend Act. Pauline is work­ing to­ward so­lu­tions for this global cri­sis.

It is easy to de­spair and be­come cyn­i­cal when faced with such prob­lems. But I feel more as­sured of our ca­pac­ity to solve these prob­lems when I read about peo­ple such as John Min­kler and Pauline Tor­res. – Pat Reeves, Fresno

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