This video, from The New York Times, nearly made me cry in public. It is a documentary about Jeffrey Wright, a physics teacher at Kentucky’s Louisville Male High School. As his students attest onscreen, Wright brings extraordinary enthusiasm and concern for his students to make an impression that extends beyond the classroom. One student says, “It makes me feel like he really cares about me, and I know he does.” Another special thing Wright brings to his students is his real-life experiences.
In what has become an annual lecture, Wright tells his students about his 12-year-old son, Adam, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Joubert’s Disease which impairs the brain’s ability to control balance and coordination. In addition, the boy was blind and breathed uncomfortably fast. Wright was frustrated by the misfortune of his son, his inability to control his body. It seemed unfair, an inexplicable cruelty of the universe.
But an amazing day came when Wright saw Adam playing with his sister and realized Adam could in fact see. He was then taught sign language, and a day came when Adam signed, “Daddy, I love you.” This experience taught Wright, and he teaches his students, that there is something beyond “how” things work, something beyond the laws and physical reality of the universe. There is a “why,” Wright says, and that why is love.