Obstacles can’t stop you.

Problems can’t stop you.

Most of all other people can’t stop you.

Only you can stop you.

Jeffrey Gitomer

For your consideration….

Whether we know it or understand it or not, there is a reason for everything. My yesterday gave birth to today’s message. I just didn’t know it until I meditated this morning.

I love teaching…..all kinds of teaching…..all ages…..all kinds of knowledge.

Yesterday I encountered a particularly raucous group of students. The teacher had left clear instructions on what they were expected to do and she had a point system set up for it. I went to each student individually and asked them show me what they were planning to work on for the hour. They are required each day to declare it and write it down. It took persistence but it got done. But throughout this class I had one young woman and two young men who were constantly trying to engage the class and or me. They choose to not do any of the work they were there to do in lieu of constantly trying to be disruptive. I firmly and politely corrected them and reminded them what they were there for.

Throughout the class I simply documented what each student did…..good and bad…..for the regular teacher. As the class unfolded, they bragged about how upsetting they were for not only their teacher (who they do not expect to come back) but for other substitutes as well. Towards the end of class they began asking me over and over again, “Are you mad?” to which I replied, “No”. They just could not understand this.

Finally, I admitted “I am always sad when students choose to waste opportunities and support that simply will not be there for them if and when they graduate in 2 years.”

“Yeah, yeah, but are you mad?” one of the young men persisted.

Finally, I answered, “Son, you have too high an opinion of yourself. You think you have the power to ruin my day. You think you have the power to make me angry.”

Then softly I said, “Son, I would never give that kind of power to you. No, you have not made me angry or ruined my day. It is my pleasure to teach lots of great students.”

It was like I dropped a bomb in the classroom. They were much quieter after that. Their sole purpose each day is to take control of whatever teacher the school can find for that class. When I refused to give up my power and control, they did not know what to do.

And that is the message for today. No one can steel our power without our permission. We have heard this before but evidently it is worth repeating.

We have a choice. We always have a choice. Hold onto and be in control of your own power. Never give it away.

That is the HOPE. And so it is.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, HOPE by HOPE action steps anyone can take.

-Meditate/pray….each day. You deserve it. It is in the silence where you are reaquainted with your strength, power, control and purpose.

-Drink lots of water.

-Get outdoors and take in at least 10 deep breaths.

-Shout for joy. Laugh out loud.

-Journal what you are grateful for.

What made me smile yesterday…..

-Believe it or not most of my day was filled with wonderful students.

-My challenging class. Yeah, I smiled as I reflected on the puzzled look on their faces when I dropped the “bomb”.

-Dinner with my friend, Camille who will soon be off for Italy. I am jealous. I admit it.

-My Alex sounding happy.

Love, Blessings and Gratitude,

Rev. Chris


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