"A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
— Desmond Tutu

Friday, February 3, 2012

Education, for "free"

I remember hearing that the mark of a good job is one you would "do for free." The idea being that you love it so much, and you believe that what you do is so important, that the salary is just an added bonus.

While I've often wished that I could afford to do what I want to do without having to be paid for it, I don't think this is an attainable reality for most of us. 

However, what if you didn't have a choice? What if you were not going to be paid, no matter what? Would you still work?

I stumbled across this story this morning, though I have a vague recollection of hearing about this woman, Sara Furgeson, last month during the State of the Union Address. Ms. Ferguson teaches at a low-income elementary school in Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania. This past month, she, along with many other teachers and support staff, pledged to continue teaching and working even though the district had run out of money to pay them. Yep. They are teaching for free.

I used to be a teacher. Without a doubt, I think that education is the most valuable tool we have in making our communities, our country, and our world what we want it to be. And yet, year after year, states cut more and more from education. And, unfortunately, the schools with the most vulnerable populations, those with low-income students who are most in need of a good, free education, are the schools that seem to take the brunt of the cuts. 

Ms. Ferguson, who was recently recognized on Ellen and was invited to sit with the first lady during the State of the Union Address, simply stated, "We are adults. We will make a way. The students don't have any contingency plan. They need to be educated, so we intend to be on the job."

Read her story here:

And watch her interview on Ellen here:

February Ubuntu Challenge: Find a school in your area in need of volunteers, school supplies, or support, and give generously. 

Here are some ways to get involved: