As many of us here in the U.S. are gearing ourselves and our children for another year of school–and griping about the bus schedule, or the cafeteria food, or worried about our teachers or our if our friends are in our class or just plain feeling stressed about it all–it pays to have a little perspective on how amazingly fortunate we are to be going to school at all. If there is anything this country does right it is that every American child has the right–and obligation–to attend school (even if the quality of education varies widely). In the past, education was something that only the wealthy could afford and lack of education was a major hindrance to economic improvement. Even today, we need to remember that there are many, many children and young adults around the world who cannot attend school–for fiscal, cultural, geographic or even security reasons. The desire for education can be so strong that are willing to walk miles, give up meals, or risk being shot at just to attend school. Today I listened to a story on NPR about an Afghani girl who is under constant threat from her own family just for attending school–certainly it made packing lunch-boxes, filling out school forms, dealing with my son’s last-minute freak-out and racing for the bus seem a little bit less a hassle and a lot more a privilege.