Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Royal Child

One of my favorite parables was told by the minister in an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman entitled "Just One Lullaby."  In this episode there is a town debate on the use or prohibition of corporal punishment.  The minister, Timothy, shares a story that I constantly call to mind.  I will try to do it justice:

There once was a town that was very sad.  The children had a very sad school house with few books to share.  There were no parks or places to play.  The streets were dirty.  The villagers were sad and worked so hard in the fields to grow enough to eat that they were rarely at home as a family.  The way they spoke to each other was sad and cold.

One day, the king of the whole kingdom came to visit.  He told the members of the village that he had secretly replaced one of their babies with his own.  The villagers were shocked and afraid.  They each worried, what would the king do if he saw the way that his child was living.

The villagers cleaned the streets and school.  They bought books, toys, and paints. They spoke to their children with love and made time each night to eat as a family.  The children thrived and grew into happy, loving adults.  These adults worked, loved, and started their own families.  The village was no longer sad, but instead, it was a wonderful place to be.  It was a kind, loving, beautiful village.  You see, the children grew up not knowing that one was royalty.  They only knew that they were loved and safe.

Many years later, the king returned and enjoyed getting to know each of the adults that the children had become.  One elderly lady asked of the king, "Your Majesty, please, tell me if my son is your prince.  He is so wonderful I just feel he must be."

The king replied, "They are all royalty."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Strength, Courage and Wisdom = Hope

I have been absent from my blog for a while.  I would like to apologize but I can’t.  I can’t because I have been doing something for which no one should ever apologize.  I stepped back and took a look at who I what and what I believe.  You see, this was my response to the political climate of today.

I have my own beliefs and they have been formed in part by my experiences and in part by my education.  How much was education?  A third?  A half? A majority?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I am a teacher.  I spend 175 days a year with children; children that aren’t mine by blood, just by passion and commitment.  Was I making the right decisions for each and every one of them?  Was I making my beliefs the right answer or was I tolerant of free thought.  

What I decided is that I am committed to teaching, leadership, and the belief that our future is good.  Children will grow up to be the great and wonderful people that we hope they become.  I teach because I do value each and every person that I meet.  Each belief a person holds is right for them, shaped by their experiences, and their education.  If I want heard, I need to continue to listen.  I may not agree with everyone but that is not an argument, just a mark of what makes us each individuals.  I am not saying that crimes such as the shooting at the Aurora Theater, genocide in Sudan, or the death of our foreign ambassadors is acceptable.  It isn’t. But beliefs such as what the immigration policy should be, who should be manufacturing our products and at what rate, how we should spend our tax dollars, and whether or not each military maneuver was effective can not be decided by one person.  Each person’s view matters.
Yes, out future is hopeful. I count my blessings that I am able to be a part of that future, in a very small way.

As to my personal future,  it is this blog and public education leadership.  I may not have a leadership job title, but leadership is more than what is written on your door.  I think I am ready.  To that end, I seek your ideas, questions and struggles.  You will help guide me along with the sage advise I say as I go to sleep each night:

Grant me the strength to endure
That which I cannot change,
The courage to change
That which I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

(my personal adaption of the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr)