During those days, the only thing that kept me sane was watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It wasn't that I necessarily agreed with their views every night. What I enjoyed was seeing people engage in issues with intellect and wit. The use of satire and humor allowed them to go places where we could not go in normal conversations. That is why political cartoonists and satirists are so very important. They open up dialogue and get us talking. That is why they are so threatening to terrorists. The more we think and talk and truly communicate, the more we will push back against tyranny and extremism.
We are now living in a world where a dictator in North Korea can stop the release of major motion picture and someone who draws cartoons is gunned down in Paris. Where do we go from here?
We must continue, despite the risk, to engage in discourse. This starts in our homes and schools. We must create an environment where children are encouraged to express themselves, state their opinions, and support their opinions with facts. Children who can engage in discourse will grow into thinking adults who can see the world through a wide range range of perspectives and communicate their ideas in a way others will hear them.
Tomorrow's "Reading Teacher Tuesday" will be dedicated to the victims of Charlie Hebdo by providing teachers with some strategies to encourage discourse in the classroom. I hope you will join me in moving the world in a new direction by encouraging discourse at every opportunity.