What is it that calls us to this work?
What, beyond all other reason, provides for us the energy to continue to step boldly forward in service and support, partnership and solidarity? It must be “belief” - belief in the power of the human spirit to rise above.
We are, all of us, champions of humanity’s capacity to question, wonder, work, struggle, persevere, and to constantly be making itself anew.
I suggest that our work as stewards of the children in our care is often more ministerial than academic, more pastoral than instructional. It’s all related, of course: our work in skills development and content mastery, coupled with social and moral development. If our task is to help support the unfolding of the child’s inner self, it’s blossoming can only be as grand as the fertile soil from which it’s slender stem grows.
Remember, therefore, the significance of the intentionally prepared environment (yes, every nook and cranny), and of the spiritually prepared adult… every nook and cranny; nothing can be left to chance.
In an outer world that often feels fast, loud, scary, and impersonal you provide the light in the darkness. It is your thoughtful presence in our students’ lives that makes the difference; you serve as the beacon of clarity, and promise of safe harbor.
Our work is, at its heart, is an act of great hope, faith, and defiance. We cannot foretell what the future may bring, but we believe that the path forward for humanity - for today and tomorrow - is to equip the young people with which we share our days with the compassion, balance, ingenuity and grace to transform the world as we know it to one in which love triumphs over greed, and where joy dances beyond of the shadow of fear.
On this Winter Solstice, this day of longest night, take heart in knowing that we stand together and together we are strong. In our continual work to refine our practice and reaffirm our commitment to the scope and depth of the responsibilities we hold, shine out your inner light. Let it guide you, and welcome others to the warmth of your soul.
(This blog post was first published in Finding Our Center - Reaching Out on December 21, 2016.)