- Posted by Guest Author
- On March 17, 2020
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Motivating Acts of Kindness
When someone asks you, “Who is important to you?” it doesn’t have to be one of your family members who does so many things for you or someone you have known all your life. It can be someone like a teacher or coach. My teacher Tali Puterman is a very important person to me. In her lessons she always tries to make her classes creative and interactive. One time Tali was teaching us about refugees. She showed us the beginning of the movie Paddington. Then we got to debate whether we thought Paddington was a refugee or stowaway. During that lesson I was really engaged and so was every other person in the class.
Tali was born and raised in South Africa. When she was growing up there was a lot of racism in her life. All of her friends were white and her community was all white. The laws there had not changed since the beginning of apartheid, which means complete racial segregation between black and white people. Even though she was one of the first babies without a racial label, society had not changed. She hadn’t realized that racism was still an issue until she was teaching students of color in the US as an adult. When she grew up, there were a lot of bad things that needed to be changed. That is one of the reasons she does what she does today as a community organizer. She practices tikkun olam, a Jewish saying that translates to “repair the world.”
Tali has inspired me to do many good things. During the ten days of reflection around the Jewish New Year, Tali had made a list of things that we could do to see social injustice. My family went to Dudley Square, a primarily black neighborhood in Boston. It really opened our eyes to things that we had not seen before. We saw so many things that day and learned so much! We saw a grocery store with just five shelves that were only holding canned food. When we were crossing the street we saw Tito Jackson, one of the mayoral candidates of 2017. We learned from him that people there die at a much younger age than people in Brookline where we live due to the fact that people there can’t afford the health care that we can have. Tali was helping a refugee family coming from Syria. They landed in America the night before President Trump’s inauguration. This inspired me to organize a bake sale for the family so that their two older sons could take English lessons with the proceeds which totalled 430 dollars! Tali has inspired me to help with other things, including joining my school’s Service Learning Club so I can help organizations such as the Brookline Food Pantry and causes such as the wildfires in Australia. I think everyone should have inspirations like Tali and try to do something good to act towards eliminating all sorts of injustice!