Heart Warming

Nov 21, 2022 by Rose O'Keefe

The misadventures of one young rabbit kept my interest the whole time, and the glow of the story’s sweet ending lasted for days. It was an old timey story set in rural Connecticut about learning to get along with the creatures who live around us. Timely as ever and made me glad that opossums have lived off my city compost pile for decades.

The Economist had a touching obituary, “The Joy of Voting” about Shyam Saran Negi of Kapal, India, who had by chance become the first person to vote in the first general election after India became independent. That election had been scheduled for February 1952, but the Himachal area near the border of Tibet, was usually snowed in, and planned theirs for October 1951. Negi was drafted to take ballot boxes by mule to mountain villages, and asked for permission to vote early in order to fulfill his job on election day. That simple request made him the first person to vote in India’s elections. Negi had a modest amount of schooling, taught junior basic level for 23 years, was married and had nine children. After retiring, he continued to teach local children to make their voices heard. When he reached 100 in 2017, every time he voted, villagers greeted him with a red carpet, drums and trumpets for a dance, and draped him with scarves, garlands and caps with flowers. This year, when he was too feeble to walk to the polling place, election officials sent him a mail-in ballot. He didn’t use it. Instead on Nov. 2, they brought the ballot box to him so he could cast his vote at home. He died on Nov. 5, at age 105.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Nov. 14 issue of the Christian Science Monitor, which started with an uplifting editorial on CSM writer David Clark Scott, who made a point of focusing on what was going right and on acts of kindness. A story Clark Scott was working on before he died in late October was about the principal at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia, who had decided the whole school would learn a new sign every week during Disabilities Awareness Month in order to communicate with a deaf cafeteria worker. Students began to sign for the food they wanted. Pizza became their favorite sign and they decided to learn sign for the rest of the year. What a good way to remember a prolific writer and kind man.

Blog post: https://rokeefehistory.com/blog #amreading; #RobertLawson; #RabbitHill; #NewberyAward; #TheEconomist; #ShyamSaranNegi; #voting; #CSM; #DavidClarkScott; #NansemondParkwayElementary; #signlanguage;