“Change the world? Try Love . . .” – Sri Chinmoy

Photo from Workshop Way (TM): http://www.workshopway.org/faq_1-7.htm …………………………………………………………………………………………….

Previously I wrote about those yearning to change the world. If you wish to review those articles, click on the two titles below:

Sunday . . . a sunshine day? Maybe a family day?

“I wanted to change the world.” – Unknown Monk

Try Love instead

“Instead of  trying to change the world [or change others or change yourself] try loving the world instead.” – Sri Chinmoy.

See Chinmoy’s website for several quotations and poems about changing the world: http://www.shortpoems.org/blog/2010/03/06/quotes-to-change-the-world/

How does this relate to learning?

I listened to a lecture by a counselor. He was telling about a mother who was ready to commit suicide (literally) because she could not control her children. The same story could be told about teachers who are in despair because they cannot control their students.

This counselor urged us to recognize that it is not our job to change our children or our students.

This comes as a great surprise to most parents and teachers.

What is our job then, in relation to our children or students?

Our job is to love them.

Not necessarily with the “feeling state” kind of love, although that can be very effective. The problem with feelings as the only guide is that, in the heat of anger (brought on, say, by children or students who don’t perform, or who flout rules), feelings of love are often lost. Certainly the child or student has difficulty feeling them when our anger is boiling and our words are accusatory or mean or even just unkind.

Our job is to care about them enough to respect them, specifically and especially when they don’t deserve our respect.

Kids have pretty good “personal radar.” They know when we respect them, despite our satisfaction or lack of it in the moment.

It’s a cinch to love a kid who is performing and obedient to rules

Being loving (caring) when someone is doing what we want, or what we say, is pretty straight forward.

Being loving (caring) when someone is behaving in a manner that is not appropriate, is a real challenge.

Can it be done?

Emphatically yes. No name calling. No lecturing. No put-downs. Repeating (paraphrasing) what that person says, even if it is negative and about me! 😮  Why? Why should I do that? S/he insulted me for pete’s sake!

That is just the point. No point in me reacting to their problem (negativism, anger, whatever), which in the final analysis has nothing to do with me anyway. It is their problem. They are obviously having a bad day. Or a bad year. I am just the target at the moment.

Sometimes I have to find excuses to care about them! 😮

Grace Pilon did it. Dr. Merrill Harmin did it. Martin Luther King did it. If they can do it, I can do it. Less well perhaps. Still I can do what I can. That is all anyone can ask of me.

Or a child.

Don’t take the “bait”

If I react to the negative content of what the child/student is saying, I am acting exactly the same as they are (out of control). That means I am no better than they are! Sometimes I have to leave the room! 😮

As my Dad used to say: “What can you do? Just love them.”

That’s all we can do. They will change in their own time and in their own way.

To respect, when not deserved (that’s what I want for myself isn’t it?).

Doc Meek, Wednesday, June 23, 2010

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

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