Teach & Serve
No. 17 * November 24, 2015
Related Content from And There Came A Day:
- Teach & Serve No. 16 – “The Networked Reality”
- Teach & Serve No. 15 – “It’s Not What They Think, It’s HOW They Think.”
- Teach & Serve No. 14 – “Most Effective Leaders Are Those Who Lay the Road for Pilgrimage”
- Teach & Serve No. 13 – “Power; Do You Think It’s Yours?”
GIVING THANKS FOR OUR OWN GIFTS
Turn away from false humility and embrace what makes you special
It’s Thanksgiving Week, a short week for our schools and a time to be with friends and family and step back to be grateful for all that we have – for all with which we are blessed.
Every Thanksgiving, I am reminded of the famous quote by Meister Eckhardt, the German theologian, philosopher and mystic: “If the only prayer you ever said was ‘thank you,’ it would be enough.” Powerful thought.
I could write paragraph after paragraph about all of the things in my life for which I am thankful. I will do that sometime this week leading up to Thanksgiving, because I am thankful for so very, very much. I have a wonderful wife, incredible children, a home over my head, a job I love, a family that cares about me. I have leisure time to do things like write this blog. I have all that I could ever need. More than I really need, truly.
I will write about those things, as I said.
But I’d like to challenge all of us who work in education to do something else this week. As we think about all those things for which we are thankful, let’s take a moment to give thanks for our own gifts.
I don’t mean the external gifts we’ve been given like health or those things I listed above. No, I mean those internal gifts we’ve been given. Those things in us that are good and powerful. Those things in us that help us to be excellent educators and administrators. Those things in us that other people point out about us.
Let’s take a few moments to give thanks for ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, there is everything right with this. We can and should allow ourselves the space and time to be thankful for who we are and what we are. If you cannot identify those things about yourself for which we should be thankful, if you cannot readily list those things, I would suggest this: what would you say to build up a colleague, a student, a person in your charge? Say that to yourself. There is a difference between humbleness and false humility. Embrace being humble, for certainly that itself may be a quality for which you are thankful, but turn away from false humility and embrace, in equal measure, all that makes you special.
Because you are. You are an educator and a good one. Be thankful for you.
What better time to do so than this week?
Thank you for who I am. Thank you for what I can do. Thank you for the gifts I have to teach, to lead, to inspire.
Thank you for me.