Friday, June 24, 2011

Crumpled Risk

With each breath, within each moment, I choose.

Like a middle school teacher who gets tired of picking up trash, will I walk past the crumpled paper in the hallway? Or, will I stoop to pick it up?

The enemy counts on our bodies getting tired; our hearts choosing to look the other away; our minds deciding to walk past the crumpled mess, to leave it for the custodial staff, for the people who are paid to keep the hallways tidy.

Somewhere deep inside us, we know there is risk in stopping to notice a crumpled mess. Sometimes the risk will be manageable.
A student may see us and laugh. A colleague might roll her eyes.

Sometimes the risk will be bigger than we imagined possible.

In picking up a crumpled paper, I risk that on my way to the trash I will uncrumple the paper and discover that the paper held in my hand is . . .

. . . an email

. . . an email to a student

. . . an email to a middle school student from an adult

. . . an email filled with inappropriate innuendo.

I cannot unread the uncrumpled words before me.

In this breath, in this moment, I must choose between a simple task and a difficult journey. I can choose to throw away an uncrumpled paper. I can choose to begin a journey that I know will exhaust my heart.

How will I choose?


A video: Julie

My gratitude to all the people who teach AND care. Thank you!
As I wrote, I thought of two teachers. My 3rd grade teacher was someone who instilled in me an appreciation for the rules of grammar and spelling. She will like the word tidy. My high school biology teacher was someone who invited me to think like a scientist and use words to describe my observations. He will like the word uncrumpled.

Courage to Connect by David Spinks
Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson Who is one person that you’ve been dying to connect with, but just haven’t had the courage to reach out to? First, reflect on why you want to get in touch with them. Then, reach out and set up a meeting. DS

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