This is the sign that hangs above the door on the way out of my classroom. It’s also the most important rule (to me) governing behavior in the tiny microcosm of controlled space which is my classroom.
I care that students learn about science. I hope that they find the world around them as fascinating and exciting as I do. But if they learn nothing from me all year except the importance of being kind….I would be okay with that too. Kind to others and kind to themselves.
Over the weekend we were again reminded of the violence of the world we live in. The violent actions of those with guns who seek to make their point by cutting down the lives of others. Not just in Paris, but in Lebanon and in Syria and too many places around the world. I wrestle with the relative safety I feel in my every day life. Lucky? Guilty? Privileged? All of the above?
So what can I do? What can any of us do in our every day lives to resist, to feel less helpless, to inspire peace in others?
Here’s my short list:
- Be kind to others
- Be kind to yourself
- Read a book to understand the perspective of another
- Listen to someone else’s fears
- Give your time to someone else
- Find and do work that you love
Maybe it seems trite or cheesy but it helps me, and I do believe it matters. And that is the best I can do in the place that I am right now.