In an old book from England entitled The Wonderful Window, we see an incredible principle:
A London clerk worked in a drab office in the rundown part of the city in an office overlooking the slums. As he observed the surroundings, he determined he would not let his outlook on life be dictated by the dreariness and hopelessness that surrounded him.
This clerk bought a beautiful, colorful Oriental window that had been painted with an inspiring scene. This was a large white banner with a strong knight protecting his city from a dangerous, fierce dragon. There were castles, towers, green parks, and beautiful homes on wide streets.
The clerk installed this window on a high wall in his office.
When he became disheartened, he no longer looked at the dismal scene below but focused above on the knight on the banner. He felt he was working for that knight on the banner as he tediously tried to make everything balance. He had a noble purpose to keep the city strong, beautiful, and prosperous and safe from the dragons that wanted to besmirch the city's beauty.
He refused to allow his circumstances to determine his outlook on life!
Our world can be bleak, tough, and rough! We will never have all of the equipment, resources, time, or administrative support we need!
Civilization is always one generation from anarchy! We must teach well despite our circumstances!
Some Irish Monks copying the great works of literature during the Dark Ages became the “conservators of civilization.” This one act allowed the emergence of education from that dark time of burning books when stability returned to Europe. They didn't know they were doing great things; they just knew their work was worth doing. (See How the Irish Saved Civilization, one of the Hinges of History books by Thomas Cayhill. They are great books!)
We have a work worth doing, too.
Amidst the chaos of standardized testing, turmoil over standards and accountability, and the search for someone to blame for the recession, inflation, and consumer depression, we have work to do.
Keep a little of that idealism to light the flame of teaching in your heart again. Fan that flame into contagious enthusiasm that will shine forth to your students tomorrow! Remember, 93% of communication is your face, voice, and body language.
“Example is the most powerful rhetoric.”Thomas Benton Brooks
“Obstacles in the pathway of the weak become stepping-stones in the pathway of the strong.”Thomas Carlyle
“As you go about your work today, remember that you could be someone else's hero. Have thy tools ready: God will find thee work.”Charles Kingsley
Keep the faith!
Published: February 27, 2006. Updated: August 30, 2023
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