Broken but Built
I am reminded of the many experiences I had as a child where I broke things around the house that were of value, not intentionally though. Some of those things were mine. Others belonged to my parents. Boy were they upset when they found out that I'd broken something of great value! I even remember classroom experiences where I'd broken things, only to feel great remorse. It was one thing to break something you owned but another thing altogether to break something that was owned by someone else and experience their wrath. As an adult, I see being broken very differently. Is it a bad thing to be broken? In Journey to the Y in You, it speaks about shifting perception, altering the viewpoint of our experiences that break us, those things in life that seemingly come to take from us rather than give. How can we intentionally look at something that looks bad, seems bad, feels bad and likely is bad and pull good out of it?
I reflect often on myself an educator. How can I be better? How can I dig deeper? How can I be a greater influence on the lives of others and aid them in finding their 'why?' The truth about teaching, however, is that it isn't always easy. You are challenged to raise the bar for your students, coaching them towards success. That can be immensely challenging, yet rewarding. As a teacher, you aren't only influencing or impacting the lives of children but their families also, whether positively or negatively.
Not every experience I have had in the world of education has been positive. To be completely transparent, I have been 'broken' during times of good intentions. I have been 'broken' when my there was disagreement with what should and should not happen in the classroom. I have been 'broken' through mistreatment and gossip. I have been 'broken' because of the color of my skin (as well as being male). What does it mean to be 'broken?' Being broken means that a part of you has been damaged or fractured. I LOVE Malcolm X's words here: "There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time." My most recent experience of being broken came at a time when I felt like so many things were going wrong.
The truth is that if I'd never been broken, I would have never seen what I can now see. The truth is that if I'd never been broken, I'd never know what I now know. The real truth is that being broken provided the perfect opportunity to be built. When the foundation has been formed properly, structures can be built to withstand weather and other treacherous conditions. When a house has a proper structure, it can stand even in the middle of chaos and confusion. Along this journey of life, I have realized that not every experience will meet my expectations. It won't come neatly folded. It won't come in a box with a bow. It will come with challenges that are by design, necessary for improvement. It's all about how you view the obstacle. Viewing the obstacle as an opportunity is a great way to let being broken build you into a better and stronger version of you.