I have been on this earth now for over 30 (ahem almost 40) years and while I still have a lot to learn here is some wisdom I feel is mine to impart. You come across so many people in your lifetime and it truly is about how you choose to see them that makes the difference. I have certainly been guilty of not giving people a chance because of the way they looked or how they acted. I have been one of those people who is angry at life and at the people who seem to get everything they want without really “working for it”. I am only human. But without being flippant about my weaknesses let me say that I do see people and life very differently now than I once did. “You will never get back the chances you didn’t take.” Don’t rely on the feelings of others to make judgements about the people around you. I have missed many chances at friendship and perhaps just knowing other people because I let others tell me how to think and feel about people.
Saint Theresa of Calcutta has an awesome quote that I will put at the end of this post but the gist of it is people aren’t exactly who you want them to be, they will treat you badly, they will make mistakes…but love them anyway. And that goes for yourself too!
As some of you know I spent my whole childhood wanting to be a teacher. So I went to school and did all my courses and graduated from Mac and then Brock and I thought it was a done deal. Looking back now I can see the reasons why it wasn’t so but then again I learned so much from the nine years I spent on the supply list about myself and others. The most important lesson I learned is that I have never been or will be someone who is okay with the status quo. I have high expectations of myself and so I have high expectations of others and sometimes this is motivating and sometimes it is unreasonable. What I mean is that when you hold yourself to a expectation it can spur you on and help you reach that goal but if you hold onto that expectation too firmly you can come to believe that if you don’t meet it in exactly the way you thought that you have failed. That’s when depression can set in and you start to feel as though you have failed at everything. Also the high points are there to help keep you motivated but won’t if you think that everything should always be like it was at that moment.
I remember finishing one school year with my most challenging set of students and I was just about in tears taking everything off the walls and packing my stuff because I wasn’t going to be coming back the next year when in something akin to a “Hallmark Moment one of the kids ran back up to the classroom and gave me a gift. It was a little cat statue with a crystal ball which was probably from the dollar store but he was so proud to give it to me my heart felt so full. This was that moment in the movies when the other teachers would watch me leave with my boxes and cheer, and then the principal would come running out or I’d receive a call from the school board telling me that I’d earned my full time teaching position. Nope didn’t happen and I was crushed. But I did learn after (a long while) that the high of receiving that gift was and should have been enough. No it didn’t lead to everything I ever wanted but it did come from what I should have wanted more than everything else…a life that was touched by me in such a positive way that he gave me something he held so dear. I met so many of these children when I was supplying and even doing my practice teaching…one young lady in fact who I have reconnected with on Facebook who is a wonderful mother (you know who you are) who just needed that extra bit of love and care and someone to be there for them and listen to them. But I have realized it’s not just children who need this it’s adults too.
Every once in a while someone needs a hug, someone to listen to that problem that looms large or to show that little bit of kindness when you have had a less than stellar day. I am so thankful that since I left supply teaching to pursue other avenues that I have been able to be this person and know these people in my life. It seems such a small thing when someone “calls you sunshine” or prays with you when your grandma is sick, makes you a cup of tea, listens to your personal problem and commiserates with you and yet I have found these people where I work and am truly grateful to them for being a light when the world looks so gray. I try to be that light too but I must remember what I have learned…
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway. – St. Mother Theresa
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