Bird Droppings July 1, 2014
Finding our reflection on a pond or window
I boxed up a couple of boxes of “junk” from my class room the other day. Each piece at one time or another had been a teachable moment. Each was an item and or items for that had been collected and or given to me from my father and mother’s house. My mother had been getting my father’s things sorted and it must be genetic, the pack rat syndrome he had boxes and cases and trays of stuff. Some is just extra electric tape for that emergency or millions of spare batteries, but in among all of the stuff are cool things like a wooden water buffalo painted gold, used in a Sunday school lesson so many years ago. It was nearly ten years ago I was moving into a smaller room from a huge room I had on another hall. My room at school becomes my sanctuary and many other folks along the way as well. My room with soft flute music playing and an eclectic assortment or student and my own art work on the walls is small yet cozy. Still I have the running water from the aquarium to add some calming to the hectic.
I thought back to that day nearly fourteen years ago and my own reflection. What a way to start the day, it is amazing how much stuff accumulates over a year even within a semester. This morning as I write I have several projects on hand that I am working on for school and graduate school. One I have been working on for several years and some construction got in my way. I have been logging and photographing all the trees on campus for a power point presentation for biology teachers and anyone interested. Actually let kids do most of that one over the years. As I find things in my room it is amazing the bits and pieces of history while only I have been here only for a few years and how much has changed.
I found a photo of a student who was in my class and has been out of school for nearly eleven years, it was funny as I set the picture down sort of a “posed thinker picture” yet this young man has probably been in more trouble than the sum total of the rest of my students. On a brighter note he also is the only student so far to voluntarily read Dylan Thomas and started a Brian Weiss book, that one he did not finish but got half way. Currently he is doing repair work and racing motorcycles in Texas. I find it interesting how life responds.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Interesting as I look for quotes as I think of this young man, I am drawn to several thinkers who are in direct contrast to this young man’s life style. Numerous times his trouble with the law was racial, he usually the instigator. As I reflect in all of it was a losing of hope, that there was no more reason to exist, life was too hard. Life had dealt too hard a blow to him perhaps although many times he would swing back.
“When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As I got to know this young man other aspects of reality came into being he would tell his friends, “do not trust me” and yet when I did a trust quiz he was always the most trusted.
“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.” Robert F. Kennedy
Perhaps as I knew this young man I could see things that never were and would over look at times the things that were. I knew why he did much of what he did. Most people knew why, but never took time to go beyond that and simply would write him off.
“A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else.” Mahatma Gandhi
As I think about this young man it was his actions and lifestyle that drew attention always what he did never what he could do. I sat in a class yesterday on qualitative research and this young man again came up in my thoughts. If I simply looked at numbers he has the still school record for suspension days and just about any discipline record you could imagine. Greatest number of fights started and finished not necessarily being a positive thought.
“Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected” Mahatma Gandhi
Where can we and or where do we find truth. Thinking and pondering deeper should not that first grade teacher except responsibility for truth or should they simply teach the curriculum or maybe in second, third, or fourth grades truth could be included as an elective. Maybe administration or with in the schools somewhere or it could be in Family and Children Services a spate extra credit course in truth. As I thought going through files and such as I am cleaning up for this coming school year it became apparent as I was asked who another picture was of, and I could not remember the name. I remember taking the picture but I could not remember the name of the person only a few weeks ago. Then I realized why? So often our focus is simply getting done, be it the job, the day, or the week, we so often do not focus on the person at hand. Sadly soon enough because we do not try focusing not only does a person slip through the cracks but slips through reality.
“All things in the world are two. In our minds we are two, good and evil. With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly…. We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and we have the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way; the other foot may lead us to a good. So are all things two, all two.” Eagle Chief, (Letakos-Lesa), Pawnee
However as we walk one foot before the other we do and can choose at times which pathway of the two to follow, some of the choice may be environmental, family, friends, and all around you but in the end a choice is made. Within that choice is where the distinguishing occurs where truth and love are determined and found. Tomorrow another day and soon a holiday and holiday weekend starts and today as I stopped to get gas a fellow I did not know was talking with the young man who handles the morning shift at the convenience store where I buy gas, This young man was wanting to get into law enforcement. The fellow talking to him was talking about Blackwater, the military subcontractor, and how much they paid. He told this young man you can make one hundred and twenty five thousand guarding and twenty five thousand more if you are willing to kill people. It may be a long time till I can cease ending my droppings with this phrase, please keep all in harm’s way in your hearts and on your minds and to always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)