While reading “Breakfast” by John Steinbeck, students were to take note of the concrete details provided in the story. One such detail was found at the beginning of the selection where Steinbeck describes the gray road, darker gray smoke from the chimney and the paler gray tent. Amidst this panorama of misery there is a spark of color-a symbol of life and hope. The glow of a fire can be seen through the smoke stack inside the tent.
The days are indeed growing grayer. Children no longer seem to understand the moral principles that this nation was founded upon nor see the need to keep them. Reports of teen pregnancies run rampant through the halls, and even more disturbing is the lack of full term babies. Has abortion become as common place as brushing one’s teeth?
The word zealous, one of their spelling words, was and is a foreign concept. What does it mean to be passionate about something, passionate to the point that a person would give up all for a cause? Even in my own home where I believe my children are taught morals and are challenged to live an engaging life, I see the dimness creeping in. And it is very disturbing. Like the tsunami that washed away thousands of lives in Japan, apathy is sweeping across the nation, stealing lives, and it seems there is no recourse.
But even as there was a glimmer of orange in Steinbeck’s story, there is one today. It is like fresh drops of dew to a parched soul to see one of these young ones exhibit ardor about his beliefs. These souls are few, but they are there, shining in a world that is shrouded in passivity. May their spark continue to burn and spread color to world that chooses neither black nor white.