Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Because some things deserve more than just one day...

The paradox of honoring someone who eloquently spoke of and influenced peaceful protest of discrimination and judgment, during a time when some of our country’s most prevalent issues include war, terrorism, and invasion of privacy serves as a striking reminder of both how far we’ve come, yet how much farther we have left to go. While there are many holiday’s that I refrain from celebrating, due to the absurdity of it all (Valentine’s Day comes to mind), I really enjoy holiday’s such as Martin Luther King Jr. day, as it reminds me to really reflect upon and honor the simple, yet often forgotten values of peace and love as well as how much of an impact one individual can make, despite bureaucracy, politics, the existing system and a society that is all too fond of saying, “that’s bureaucracy/politics/system/society. It’s not going to change.”

It’s holiday’s like MLK day that serve as a reminder of those that HEARD people tell them "it's not going to change", but listened with their hearts, rather than their ears. Those that didn’t just recite well-written speeches, but LIVED what they spoke, influencing others through their actions as well as their words.

“There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough.”

These simple words of Mother Teresa always leave me speechless as they remind me that it is action, simple, doable action that makes more of a difference than words.

I often wonder if our society has failed to cultivate and nurture any future Martin Luther King Jr.’s, Mother Teresa’s or Ghandi’s or if society is even prepared to listen to or even recognize the next peace warrior that comes along. Perhaps our new teachers will not be quite as iconic as they used to be and in fact, perhaps they will not look like, sound like or be what we might expect.

I often laugh to myself when I say that I teach children on the spectrum. I think they laugh at me too when I say such things, thinking “SHE is teaching US? That’s what SHE thinks.” I can honestly say that I’ve changed to the core as a result of all that I have been taught by each of my very special and amazing little friends. They have taught me the importance of love, compassion, non-judgment, to see people for WHO they are, not by what they wear or say or drive. They have taught me that big groups of people, meetings and parties are HIGHLY overrated and not nearly as valuable as intimacy and true friendship. They have taught me that authenticity is so much more important than status and when you really think about it a dollar bill is just a green piece of paper. They have taught me that external validation is so much less important than really being happy about being yourself.

So maybe our new teachers will not be able to speak with the same eloquence as Martin Luther King Jr., but then again, maybe it’s time we evolve enough to hear with new ears. Maybe it’s time to recognize the message of peace and love that the Universe is constantly attempting to teach us. And maybe it’s time we all stopped preaching in order to "listen" as we pick up a broom and start sweeping.

4 Comments:

Blogger QueenBitch said...

That is absolutely beautiful!

11:03 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

Well said Squaregirl! This is how I feel and why I always say that Andrew is my best teacher.

4:16 AM  
Blogger gretchen said...

Well done Squaregirl. Our kids are so blessed to have teachers like you. I have faith that there will be another MLK and Mother Teresa. Guess I'm a hopeless optimist. But why wouldn't I be? I have a PDD kid in my life!

7:10 AM  
Blogger SquareGirl said...

Thank you QueenBee...

Eileen, I agree...It's good to realize who the teacher actually is

Gretchn, hopeless optimists...I like to drop the "hopeless" in that label.

11:43 PM  

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