14 Cows for America is the true story of one nation’s incredible and compassionate gift to another. Following the devastating attacks of 9/11, Kimeli, a Maasai warrior, returns to his tribe in western Kenya and relates the tragic events of the attack to his people. They are so moved by the sorrow of the story that they offer a most selfless gesture in an effort to reach out to a country suffering with tremendous grief by giving a gift whose very meaning equals life.
I chose 14 Cows for America as the September Book of the Month to remind us not only of the 9/11 attacks, which targeted the very heart of the American people, but of the extraordinary gifts of compassion shown by people half a world away. Being able to offer any gesture of kindness, big or small, to another selflessly is an important lesson to learn in life. As educators we have the incredible responsibility to not only teach our students the academics but to also provide lessons that shape these lifelong behaviors.
For this presentation we also made a video of me reading the story so that it could also be shown to students throughout the day on September 11.
“Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded,
nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort.”
from 14 Cows for America, by Carmen Agra Deedy