As I’m writing this, I am watching my all-time favorite movie, arguably the finest film ever produced…Casablanca. (As far as I am concerned, it is seconded only by Orson Wells in The Third Man and the original classic vampire movie, Nosferatu.) One of the things I take away from Casablanca is how the infamous Rick Blaine invariably puts aside his feelings for his beloved, Ilsa Lund, to do the right thing…help her, along with her husband, Viktor Laszlo, to escape the Nazis and flee to America. He does this knowing full well that he will never see her again, yet he selflessly makes this sacrifice.
I live in an environment where it is often difficult to do the right thing, or sometimes to even know just exactly what “the right thing” might be. Things are so very upside-down and backward here that you can easily end up in a dozen shades of trouble for simply trying to prevent someone (or even yourself) from suffering harm. It becomes an often futile exercise, an attempt to navigate a minefield of situational ethics vs. moral absolutes. However, there are still some things that are easy. When I have a student whom I do not particularly like on a personal level, I still have a responsibility to set aside those feelings in the interest of her education, and I am equally as proud of her accomplishments and successes as those of my other students. In fact, I’ve often discovered that is how bridges are built across differences.