Leadership Inspires

Today our country celebrates a man who represents more than one blog post could do justice. We celebrate a man who stood for equality. A leader who was an agent of change. An activist who chose to operate out of love. A revolutionary man who thought differently and was not afraid of doing what was right on the behalf of others. Martin Luther King, Jr. left a positive legacy that has left an impact on us all.

Every year I begin reading an ‘easy reader’ with my students (think of a book that can be read in 10-20 mins.) that addresses a different character trait: kindness, respect, cooperation, integrity, empathy, initiative, self-control, leadership, compassion, honesty, etc. We then discuss and record what each of these character traits look like at home and at school because I know that I can’t just expect them to ‘know how to be ____’ (insert any character trait).

I then intentionally try to identify and encourage these behaviors in my classroom every day in hopes that they too will begin to use and identify them. The books not only serve as an initial introduction of how I hope that my students act in my classroom, but also the high character that I hope that they display in their years beyond.

After a particularly tough day this week when I felt like I wasn’t making the difference that I intend, I was reading online and came across an image of an hourglass that had an uplifting quote on it. Usually it’s the quotes that touch my heart, but in this case, it was the image. The image was similar to this and it hit me hard. My time is finite.

It didn’t hit me in the ‘make me cry harder because I’m going to die’ way, but in the ‘let’s get it in gear’ way. Our time is limited. The time that each of us has on this Earth may be different in length, but we all have our time to make a difference. We have time to make an impact. We have time to build one another up. We have time to create change. We have time to leave a positive legacy. And I for one, don’t want to waste it.

I don’t think that Martin Luther King, Jr. would have said that the change that he made was easy. I do however believe that he would agree that it was necessary. In his honor today and in the days ahead, I don’t plan on wasting my time. I’m ok with doing the hard work to create positive change.