A teacher friend called me about the terrible time she is having at her school. She teaches 5th and 6th graders.
After nearly 20 years of teaching, she is on the verge of quitting. She loves teaching, loves her colleagues, loves the kids, and is loved by all of them, but has had it with the disciplinary action her bosses refuse to take because of political correctness.
Political correctness is nothing more than abject weakness. It’s the easiest road one can take -- fruitless and meaningless, but easiest. You don't have to make waves and you can just skate by when you're politically correct. You won't garner an iota of respect nor will you make a dent in the lives of others, but hey, the world will tolerate you.
After much prayer, I said "Teach your kids to give. And then teach them to for … give." She stopped. (She never does that.) "You there?" I asked (the silence was deafening).
"We have food drives for the poor every month" she quietly said. (Photo by Pixabay.)
"Yeah, but the kids aren't giving,” I said, “the parents are." She stopped again (she never, ever does that) so I seized the moment.
"You have a police station right next door to the school. Have the kids do something for the police officers. Brainstorm with them. Ask them what ideas they have for giving to the police, the other students, the parents, the other teachers, military men and women. Then talk to them about for … giving one another." Again, silence.
"I'm just so tired," she said.
"I know. We're all tired, but we're tired because we keep taking instead of giving. And what's worse is that we don't ask those we're training up to give of themselves, either."
Yes. It takes more energy to take than it does to give. Giving of yourself to others reenergizes you; it refreshes you; makes you feel alive! We have this upside down thinking where we believe it’s harder to give. It’s not. We also have this crazy notion where we believe we have to do everything for those we're training up. How can we train up others to be great people when we don’t allow them to do the things that will make them great people? Exactly. You can't!
“Stop doing for those kids what they desperately need to do for themselves,” I said. “Give them the chance to give of themselves, and watch what happens. Just allowing them to share their ideas on giving will change them. I promise you that your school will be radically transformed."
Silence. Then “Ok. I will,” she said.
Life is giving of yourself to others. Period. If we want to heal our communities then we need to give to the police; the military; teachers; firefighters; the elderly; your neighbors. Change your world to change the world! Don’t give until it hurts. Give when it hurts and then keep on giving. Learn, too, to for … give because only the sinless are allowed to throw stones.