I’m in a room of about 100 teachers from all over Arizona. I feel blessed to be here. We’re all pursuing National Board Certification. Sure, we get a (small) financial award, but the biggest reason that we’ve shown up is that each of us will deepen our teaching practice and bring more to each of our 30 – 180 students each day.
The great majority of teachers are exceptional people.
And then there are these bigots (who ought to lose their jobs):
13% of their student body is Latin-American. Idaho needs to do better for the children.
I’m typically identified in my country and community as “Asian-American” because I’m 100% ethnically Korean (but I was born in Iowa). We have Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, and Native-Americans but rarely do we ever call white people European-Americans. What is the ramification of this?
Why not do away with these labels?
Who cares if someone is gay or straight? Religious or not? Conservative or Liberal? Poor or rich? Why not label everyone simply “human” and treat each other humanely?
A religious woman I know told me, “I love my gay son, but too bad he’s going to go to hell.” Labeling her son and categorizing him as a sinner effectively created an unnecessary distance and one I believe she could regret.
Labels are used to create differences. It’s time we emphasize how we are the same.
Here is an in-depth, research-based study on the effects of labeling people:
There’s a lot of political strife and fear going around. I keep hearing about people losing sleep over the recent events in Virginia with the supremacist groups and the death of an innocent protestor.
I offer this: Take a deep breath. Do not expect others to feel the way you do. Do not get frustrated and scared. Instead, think of one SMALL thing you can do to feel effective and do it. You’ll feel better. You might even sleep better.
Lead by example.
Show up. We need people to show up for what they believe in.
But fighting and arguing are only going to get defenses up.
And, for your insomnia, I offer this YouTube video of Byron Katie speaking with someone who feels the way you do. Trust me, you need to watch this. It’s magic.
This is not a call for passivity. You need to feel the inner peace before you can help create the peace outside of yourself.
Every green thumb gardener knows that her garden needs rich soil in order to grow bright, brilliant plants. Compost enriches soil but it is stinky and takes time to degrade and cultivate. The compost of my life’s garden (thus far) consists of (but is not limited to):
Kids taunting me with “chink” when I walked home from school
Every grade I ever received other than an “A”
my first heartbreak
the deaths of my grandparents, sister-in-law and friends
breast cancer and the six surgeries that followed
every awful job and boss I ever had
every workout that pushed me to the brink of insanity
the police officer at my high school football game who hatefully asked me if I speak English
scooter/car accident right before my wedding (I had to wear a leg brace under my wedding dress)
my mentor’s suicide
Let us not dwell on our past, but let us celebrate our survival. It is pain and loss that molds us into the strong people we are.