What if we viewed all of life’s hardships as natural, and took it as normal that our struggles with them should be tackled in full view of and with open support from our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers?
Just as a sail is too heavy to hoist alone, grief is too heavy to bear alone.
I got to thinking about this after I heard Alix Spiegel on NPR report on how differently Japanese and Americans tackle classroom education. In America, the brightest student is held up for peer praise and respect, while the one struggling to learn is left alone, nearly shamed and shunned. In Japan, the student who is having the most difficulty is brought before the class and learns in front of his peers, with their encouragement. They all share in the student’s accomplishment of conquering the difficult lesson. Struggling to learn is seen as a natural part of the journey to become educated.
I am struck by two facts. One is the open acceptance of the struggle. The teacher and peers openly give their support and it is openly received by the student. The other is the recognition that learning is a journey and eventual success is expected and perhaps inevitable. Continue reading
Today we honor and remember Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who above all else, was governed by personal boundaries and values.
Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
While Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed when I was too young to comprehend his significance, my parents taught me those same values.
I spent some time recently reading his famous quotes and was struck by how my own principles parallel his. I have codified my values in my own eight Life Amendments. I use this code of conduct to go forward in life assured I am adhering to my precious values.
If we are to go forward, we must go back
and rediscover those precious values – that
all reality hinges on moral foundations
and that all reality has spiritual control.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
When I look at my Life Amendments, I see Martin Luther King, Jr’s influence on my life and see how his dream lives on. His dream lives on in all of us through our actions and words.
I made a mistake the other day in planning my schedule, a mistake that inconvenienced several others.
The smallest mistake can send us tumbling. How do you right yourself again?
I was to pick up a friend so we could go together to a birthday party dinner in a town about 45 minutes away. For some inexplicable reason, I planned to pick her up a full hour later than I needed to for us to arrive on time. To make matters worse, I was 15 minutes late in picking her up.
Fortunately, I realized my mistake and called the hostess and informed her of my error. She graciously accepted my explanation and my apology and held dinner for us. We hurried as best we could. Outwardly, things were fine. Inwardly, it could have been another story. Continue reading
Filed under Courage, Truth