The last few weeks I have been writing mainly about the virtues of Gratitude, Thoughtfulness and Kindness. It’s been a joyful ride as I look for signs of Kindness in others, and as I perform acts of kindness myself. It warms my heart and is a solid reminder as to what lies ahead in my life when I let go of the fear that holds me back. According to the Law of Substitution, it isn’t possible to hold two thoughts at the same time. Try it. It’s impossible.
As I work in a school environment, mostly with Special Education students, behaving kindly to others is a given. . I am blessed to work with an exceptional group of teachers who show kindness and love on a daily basis toward their students, many of whom come from impoverished environments with little parental guidance. Not any less important is the fact that these teachers and staff are modeling kindness continuously for these students.
On Thursday, I spent time in the Life Skills classroom downstairs where they were short on help for the day. LifeSkills works with students that are severely emotionally and/or physically disabled. At times the students behavior can be volatile as was the case that day. The Supervisor had to contain a distraught eight-year old boy. During the entire ordeal, she spoke to him in a calm and soothing voice while he physically writhed, kicked, pounded with his fists and screamed. It was heart wrenching to watch, honestly. After 25 minutes he calmed down and allowed her to guide him to his seat where they continued with his lesson. It doesn’t get more real than that.
As I said, it isn’t hard to experience or witness acts of Kindness around you in a school setting. That for me is the attraction to the job. As a retired teacher, who lives alone, I went back to work in the school district as a para educator mainly for medical insurance benefits. However, after returning to school the past three years, I question my true motive for returning there. The fact is, I barely get paid anything and the insurance benefits are not what they were three years ago. Why am I still there?
Whether you are the benefactor or the recipient, Kindness brings value to our lives. My purpose as an educator is to teach reading and math, yes, but more importantly to support, love (yes, love) and nurture these wonderful bright little beings so that they, too, find, value and purpose in their own lives. And, they in turn, bring it to mine. There lies the real reason, I am there. It’s really not about the insurance, is it? As Mark would say, “Fuhget-uh-bout-it!” It’s give more, get more all the way around.