Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Proud Moment

I often use the fact that I am a teacher as a soapbox. I tell students, that while their A's and academic achievements are good things, they aren't what I count as my greatest successes. I tell them that the reality of the situation is that the world is bigger than they are and that in the face of all these problems, it is easy to just go living the way they do and pretending not to see the reality. I tell them that what they try to do to change it might seem insignificant, but every single bit counts. And if enough people hear that, mountains begin to move. I tell them that it is their responsibility to do so. This was something that I told students way before I became a mother.

It is the same thing that I tell JED. That because they are fortunate children and they have a lot of nice things, sometimes they don't notice that the problems are there. But because they are have grown up privilleged, they need to help those who have less than they do. I am never certain, though, how much they internalise, from what I say.

But today, I get a message from JED's school about Evan that I felt most definitely warranted a blog post and us telling him that we were very happy and proud of him.

This was the message from his Math teacher (verbatim).

'We counted the money Evan and his classmates collected from their mega art show (how timely that we are also learning about money now!). And I wondered aloud to the children what the teachers were going to do with the money. I knew that the teachers had planned to buy some treats and have a mini celebration with the children. But Evan was the first to raise his hand and quickly said "We could give it to the poor children." My day was touched by an angel. What a compassionate boy!'

It was one of those moments where I had tears, my heart grew big and everything in the world felt perfect and right.

He starts Primary One next year. He goes to a school where affluence and entitlement is obvious. My prayer for him is that as he grows older and the world he sees becomes more complicated and enticing; where comfort and ease are premium, that he will still remember to be the six year old that selflessly raised his hand to help those less well off.

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