About a month ago, one of our friends gave Gideon a globe decoupaged with colorful fabric to display in his classroom. Gideon has been teaching eighth-grade language arts and social studies at Eureka Springs Middle School since last fall, so it was a perfect gift for him.
Before I delve too deep into this story, I have to tell you all about our friend Kriste-Lee. Kriste-Lee is a fantastically talented artist of many mediums and has lived in Carroll County for decades. She has seen the county, country and world change over the years. She’s dedicated to the community and has been fundraising for the Berryville Public Library for quite some time now. If you’d like to see her work and help out the library, stop by to purchase a decoupaged water bottle any time the library is open.
We meet with Kriste-Lee for lemonade every Sunday at noon, and I am always so grateful to hear her perspective on the world. It’s different from my perspective, Gideon’s perspective and probably yours too –– and that’s exactly what makes our world so fascinating. When she presented the globe to Gideon, she told us the meaning behind the project.
Covering county, state and country lines with fabric depicting the natural world is a way to say that we are all the same deep down. No matter what state or country we live in –– no matter what our differences are –– we share the human experience. The world has become so divisive that we sometimes forget what we have in common. That globe says it better than any speech ever could. We are so similar if we’d just take a moment to think about it. We can connect the most unlikely folks if we’d just dare to try.
That became especially clear when Gideon showed the globe off at school. So many students complimented it and asked who made it. One of the students even asked for Kriste-Lee’s Instagram page, completely unaware that she isn’t on Instagram, Facebook or any other social media platform.
It’s a funny story to tell when you think about the generational differences between the two. Kriste-Lee isn’t online and doesn’t have any desire to be. She’s not alone in that, but social media is certainly a big part of life these days, especially for younger folks. For most kids and lots of adults, it’s a given that you’re on some kind of social media platform.
But the generational difference is not the reason I am writing this column. No, I want to highlight the commonalities among all generations. Even though Kriste-Lee is decades older than Gideon’s student, they both connected through her art. I love how that shows the authenticity behind the globe’s message. We can all connect, young or old. We can all connect, Democrat or Republican. We can all connect, man or woman. We can all connect, gay or straight. We can all connect if we hear one another out, if we give one another a chance.
Have you given someone a chance lately? If you haven’t, I hope this column inspires you to.