My life has taught me that all of us, all living creatures, want to be recognized. We want to be appreciated. We want to know someone is happy we are here to share this life with them. I find it beneficial to acknowledge others by seeing them as their best self. Spirit radiates from all life. When we recognize and appreciate each other, we all feel the healing of separation. Together, in appreciation and acknowledgement, we feel peace.
"A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit."
- Elton Trueblood
As educators this quote sums up our life of commitment to our students. As educators our life is service and legacy. We serve through dedication, detail, inspiration, motivation, tough love, discipline, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and creativity. Our legacy is formed in every student who believes in themselves, who learns to work with others, who finds their purpose, who serves their country and community, who leaves the world a bit better because their teacher did that for them.
"The seed never sees the flower."
- Zen proverb
As educators we are seed planters. We plant seed after seed believing in the process of life and education. We practice a faith as deep as nature itself. Every action, every word, every lesson has ripples generations after us. Every student we impact affects the world and all its people.
As educators we play a significant role in the health and healing of the world.
Everything we do matters to someone.
"For those who have suffered, tolerance is not a political position or even a principle. For those of us who have suffered, who have hauled ourselves into the sun, anything exhausted beside us is family."
- Mark Nepo
Mark Nepo, one of my favorite authors, speaks to the comfort and fellowship of recovery and healing. Knowing we are not alone is comforting. Knowing we are not the only one is healing. In therapy, in recovery meetings, in healing circles we listen to others tell our story. There is a universality to health and healing. When we risk being authentic and vulnerable, we find that others have been down a very similar courageous path.
"We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known...
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.
And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world."
- Joseph Campbell