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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Grace Is . . .

I asked God this evening, “What is grace?”

With pen poised, I received this answer and jotted it down.

Grace is . . .

favor unasked for.
the presence of Spirit.
the Divine’s embrace.
what some might call luck.
a signal that I am in the will of God.
a reminder that I am ever attended to.
bestowed as a gift; it cannot be earned.
often manifested through others as instruments.
available to all; there are no victims of circumstance.
given in sufficient doses daily; it cannot be stockpiled.
the cosmic hand that holds mine as I walk through darkness.
not to mean that I am without struggle, but that I have strength to endure.

Be enlightened!  ~ M

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Back to Basics

For the past several months, I was blessed with the privilege of working as a teaching assistant with international students. The teens’ home countries range from India to Brazil, Canada to Poland. As this school semester closes, I reflect on what I have learned and taught during my most recent position. Education truly is a mutually beneficial exchange, and I take with me as much as I offered.

I witnessed that students’ dreams and goals are not confined to cultural boundaries—nor are their ideas for humorous antics, but that is fodder for a different post. The visions of American adolescents differ little from those of children from other parts of the world. And at the heart of all of them, I noticed in the classroom, are these basic longings:

-- Someone to greet us with a warm smile when we enter a room.
Notice me.
-- Someone to applaud enthusiastically our accomplishments.
Be proud of me.
-- Someone to encourage us to reach our personal potential.
Believe in me.
-- Someone to give us a second chance when we do something wrong.
Forgive me.
-- Someone to teach us a better way when we make a mistake.
Help me.
-- Someone to miss us when we are gone.
Enjoy me.

What it all boils down to: Love me.

When these basics were tended to, the students’ responses to academics were noticeably positive. Let us recognize that these longings are not confined to adolescence. They are not different from what we, in adulthood, respond positively to. May we return to these basics in our interactions with others. May we love.

Be enlightened!  ~ M