Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
I’ve tried to write about this from a couple of different angles, but I guess straight forward is always the best. This is a quote I got from a sermon two Sundays ago, written by John Westley, the founder of the Methodist Church. Now, before you click out, understand, I’m not a real churchy person, so that’s not where this is going. Two things I always tell my students I’ll not talk about in class: religion and politics. I try to keep that out of this blog as much as possible because it is an intensely personal thing, and too often, people are turned off by someone’s uber exuberance with their faith or lack there of.
The reason I’m writing about it is because it’s a code that we could all live by, regardless of where we are at in our lives. So, I shared this with my students, where it came from, and asked them to write about what they felt it meant to them. It’s interesting, sixth graders, where their perceptions fall on something like this. For me personally, this made me sit up and take notice that Sunday. What am I doing for the betterment of those around me? Am I being a good husband, father, son, brother? Am I being a good friend to those who need it? And the hardest question: how can I do better? I can’t remember which chat it was, but we got into a good discussion about reflection, and how it’s not something we feel comfortable doing, nor do we always know HOW to do it. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a “Reflection 101” in college where you could learn what reflections looked like and how to use them to better yourself?
Getting back to my sixth graders, I’ve not hidden this is a difficult class, one of the more challenging classes I’ve ever had. But when pushed, they do a good job at looking at themselves and looking for meaning behind things. One student wrote about how thing may be hard, but we still have to try. This is a student who doesn’t always give us that in class, so to admit that yes, that effect has to be there, yes! Another talks about thinking outside the box on how we can change the world! Beautiful! Now, has with all sixth grade writing, there were some stinker answers, but I was pleased that yes, we can see this. Now, put it into action! This group needs to be reminded constantly about things like this.
I’ve started to ramble, so I’ll find some closure in this: we as educators, we have that ability to help students see they can do good, anytime, anywhere, with anyone. They have the potential for so many good, positive, life changing events. We just need to continue to create the relationships with them, to push them, and help them see the good they can do both today and down the road.
Oh, Happy Monday! 🙂