Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lift Others, Lift Yourself

We are in this together!  My husband was telling me this morning that back in 1960 when Kennedy ran against Nixon, their ideologies were very close.  Kennedy won of course, but back then our country was very moderate, and we accomplished much more.  Now the Democrats are more liberal, and the Republicans are more conservative, and the country is very divided.  We need to get back to the idea of moving forward.  When we help others achieve, we start achieving ourselves.  If Congress and the President could work together, we could pass legislation that would help move our country ahead.

It's the same in the work world.  I take classes and enter them on MLP (my learning plan).  One of the items on the form says, "How will you share this information with other people in your building?"  I like that idea.  We share our knowledge with others.  If we lived in fear that maybe someone will become a better teacher than we are, we might try to keep our information to ourselves.  That not only holds them back, it also holds us back.  When we share information with others, it refreshes it in our own mind and makes us better teachers.

I remember years ago when I taught in a blue ribbon school in Fort Smith, AR, that we developed a program in which students had to read one novel on their own every month.  We had to figure out a way to  assess the students to make sure they were reading their novels.  I came up with a generic test that asked for the setting, the theme, the protagonist, the antagonist, the falling and rising action, the suspense and the conflicts, the climax and the conclusion.  I typed it up and shared it with the other English teachers.  It became our test, not my test.  It helped us all.  Many of the other teachers worked hard to increase the students' vocabularies and came up with a list of twenty "smart" words to use on a quiz every Friday.  We also set aside reading time every day called DEAR (Drop Every Thing and Read).  We had a lot of low income students, but our programs made their test scores soar. The head of the English department took all our programs and typed up an application for us to become a blue ribbon school, and we earned that designation.  If any one of us would have selfishly kept our ideas instead of sharing them, we would never have achieved our goal.  When we lift up another, we lift up ourselves at the same time.

I remember that when I was a girl, I decided to walk to our neighbor girl's (Caroline's) house for a visit.  It was in the middle of a harsh Nebraska winter, and I would have frozen to death if it had not been for Caroline.  She came to meet me and almost drug me to her house because I was too cold to walk any more.   Caroline was a good friend already, but she became my best friend for life that day.  She saved my life by helping me.  There is a saying, "No one stands taller on their climb than when he bends down to help somebody else."  I will never forget Caroline's courage and compassion that day when she came out on the coldest day of that Nebraska winter to help her friend.

My point is this:  When we lift up other people, we lift up ourselves.  When we disagree with someone politically, we should pray for that person.   Not for them to come around to our side but for them to experience peace of mind and success.  Thank God for them and do not judge them.  Visualize them in a happy space.  If we do this, we will not harbor any ill will toward them.  If we lift them up, we will feel buoyant ourselves.

Lift up the President too.  He has had a challenging four years and yet is willing to serve us for another four.  God bless him and his family.

Love and Light,

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