The President's Message 6/13/22
Attention to details, patient labor, love, joy, kindness, gentleness. There's so much to learn from gardens.
“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” -Liberty Hyde Bailey
As our nation continues discussions on very sensitive topics e.g. January 6th, abortion, gun violence, and racism, my thoughts continue to go back to the bottom line. I blogged last week about the principles of planting and harvest being a common thread of society.
The state of our nation, and even our world, overwhelmingly is based on the results of planting with the wrong intentions. We, as a society, have neglected to tend the gardens of our hearts. Our self-gratifying ambitions are proof of the chaos we are seeing in the world.
Somewhere along the way, we have stopped striving to extend patience, love, joy, gentleness, kindness and goodness to others. Our world is searching for peace externally when we need to search for it within.
As a teacher, I have seen several generations of children grow and develop over the years. I have always been concerned for the students who didn’t seem to have anyone who doted extra attention or took time to just simply care for them. 90% of the time, those students were the troubled ones. They bullied other students, disrupted the class and most cases, no one wanted to be bothered with them. I remember one student, he was considered the worst of the worst by classmates, teachers, and counselors.
A week before he was finally expelled from school, he and I talked about his actions. He refused to listen to one of his teachers and it ultimately caused a disruption in the class. He was kicked out of her class and had in-school suspension for the rest of the school day. When I talked to him, I asked why he kept doing the things he was doing, he told me most people don’t respect him and it’s easier to disrupt and be alone than to behave and deal with everyone judging him. I never had an issue with this student. And I asked him why did he treat me differently. He told me he knew I respected him and would do anything in my power to help him. As I sit here I think about the impact I had on that young man and his heart. I wonder where he is today. I often wonder how different would his experience in middle school had been if he felt more people respected him.
After his expulsion, his class started a school wide campaign “Respect for Hope”. The campaign targeted students and teachers alike. Everyone needed to show each other more respect. We defined respect as giving someone and/or something the proper courtesy, consideration and acknowledgement specifically pertaining to their rights and privileges.
What effort are you putting out into the world to reduce the impacts of chaos around you? Talking and sharing ideas is important. However, what work are you doing to improve the world for the next generation? We need to be doers.