Mexico’s Independence Day was September 16th. As a Spanish teacher, I wanted to share some of the history of the celebration with my students. If nothing else, I wanted them to know that Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day. To help them catch some history and culture, we watched a short video describing life in Mexico under Spanish rule.
The Spaniards developed a detailed caste system based on skin color and origin. They tracked whether parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents were Spanish or indigenous in order to determine what social status and class a person should have. Each classification had its own name. One of the names on the bottom rung was “I don’t understand you.” I can’t imagine being born under that category and trying to live life with that title. The heroes of Mexico’s Independence saw the incredible injustice and fought to right those wrongs. Their war for independence took eleven years, but they succeeded. I find this very encouraging.
It’s easy to feel discouraged about the world around us. When I read the news or listen to politicians, a sense of hopelessness creeps in. But good things have happened in history, too. Although the news may not cover them, good things happen around us all the time. And even if a sophomore steals the remote to the projector and makes it flicker for several minutes before I figure out what’s going on, while the rest of the class rolls in laughter, tomorrow is a new day. His mercies are new every morning.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.