For your consideration……

What do I have to offer? You have the gifts of love, joy, kindness and respect for your fellow-man, woman and child. You have everything to offer. Not only do you have it to offer and give away. You can demonstrate and/or teach it.

In our schools we have a motto; “Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible.” Yeah, we are on the right track. But we must put meaning into those words. We must demonstrate them. We must hold our students accountable to them or they are meaningless.

Let me give you an example. I teach in two different school districts. Yesterday morning during morning announcements the students were asked to stand for the Pledge of Alliance. Only four students stood. When I asked them if there was any particular reason why the rest of them sat like bumps on a log, they responded, “Because we don’t have to.” Good to know.

Here is a classic example where we as educators have done half of the job. We clearly let them know it is their “right” to choose not to stand but we have not given them the reasons on why it is “Respectful” to do so.

I let them know that indeed they do not have to stand. Many men and women have fought and/or for their right to that choice. They should know, however, that wherever they travel….no matter what country…..they will be expected to stand “in Respect” for that country’s flag and anthem. Of course, they do not have alliance to it. They are not pledging it. They are standing in “Respect” for the people who love and honor that country…..their fellow human beings.

I should say that this Middle School is the only school in that district who exhibits this behavior. All of the students in all of their other schools, including their other middle schools stand for the Pledge. They may not say it but they stand. They are respectful.

Each of us has a lot to offer to each other. Be generous. Be the example. A little smile and a bit of respect go a long way.

That is the HOPE. And so it is.

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

-Meditate/pray….ask…..”What is my next step for my highest good and the highest good of all?”

-Drink lots of water.

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

-Be the example.

What made me smile yesterday……

-A good email from Alex.

-Warm PJ’s as soon as I got home from school. It was freezing in the school and I had dressed for it. I felt bad for my students who had not.

-My nephew, Jason, helped a senior in distress a couple of days ago. I sure am glad he did it even though “He didn’t have to.”

-AJ’s hysterical Halloween costume.

Love, Blessings and Gratitude,

Rev. Chris


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