In the next few days, like many, I'll resolve to eat better, sleep more, exercise more, swear less, spend less, and keep the garage neat and tidy. I'll probably find these resolutions hard to uphold. There is, however, a promise I make every year, one that I work very hard at keeping. On January first, and on the 364 days that follow: I will resolve to try and help children become better thinkers. The problem isn't a lack of good intentions on our part. The problem is that we sometimes overlook some of the finer points of "good thinking" when teaching it to youngsters.
While it's true that young people do need the guidance and direction authority figures provide, they also deserve to have people in charge who think rationally and are willing to explain themselves. If we're going to teach our children not to trust just anyone, we need to give them good reason to trust us.
After moving when I was 16, I was enrolled in a brand new school, close to our new home. My new teacher, Mr. T, was unforgettable. What I remember now as a teacher myself was his smile. His laughter. And I remember that he saw me. There are times in our service as teachers when we set aside the habitual act of doing for the sacred work of being.
Sometimes it is hard to see the best in people. It is hard to see the best in a spouse, friend or colleague who doesn't live up to the expectations set. Who views the world through a different lens or view point. Who doesn't share one's passion and goals. Where would I be if the ones I love hadn't taken the time to see the best in me?
Being a mother is just part of a woman's persona, not the be all and end all of a woman's life. Mothers need not check their goals, dreams and aspirations at the hospital door when they go to deliver. And for one to suggest that you might have days where you'd rather not be around your children -- and actually admit it out loud -- is okay. Most importantly, moms don't always have to like the job of being a mother. Because quite frankly, many don't.