Friday, March 7, 2008

Drama at school & magnanimity

This school week has been full of drama. I write about it for two reasons:
1. so that those of you who read this can offer a prayer for the JCS staff and students that God will come and intersect our lives with His refocusing power so that the problems that distract us from eternity will fade away.
2. so that when I have left this place and am no longer burdened by these issues, that I will remember that 'this too shall pass' and that the entirely different problems I face then are just a reminder of the fact that God renews and changes both us and our circumstances.

The thing about drama is that it always seems to be about things blown way out of proportion to their real significance or severity in the course of our lives. I had a friend say to me the other week, and I think she was entirely correct, that even though I might not always 'cause' the drama, I am by nature a dramatic person. That I am sure feeds into things. Also, I realize that when I get passionate about something (which is almost always) I tend to use imperative language which offends or at the very least makes defensive those with whom I am disagreeing. Which brings me to my college-level word - magnanimity.

There are many words I have and can use to describe myself: intense, passionate, determined, opinionated, insightful, perseverant, adventurous, committed, responsible, inteligent, etc. I do not think that these are bad quailities...but I do think that while most of you read them you will agree that they are not the 'gentler' or quieter qualities. I have long since given up on being a 'quiet' person. Even when I speak very little I feel that my words are loud. So, I am praying for a new quality to be added to these: magnanimity. I want people to say, "yes, Magnanimous should be added to that list of attributes." defines magnanimous as:

generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: to be magnanimous toward one's enemies.
high-minded; noble: a just and magnanimous ruler.
proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character, etc.: a magnanimous gesture of forgiveness.

I think, in my search for what is loving, that I can strive to embrace this word. I am going to write it on several sheets of paper and staple or tape it on my gradebook, my notebook, my bedroom wall, my 6th grade classroom. I want to be reminded to let my perceived injuries roll off my back, to not take people personally, to not feel the need for revenge. I want to be high-minded and noble. I want to be generous and forgiving. I want my students to look back and say, "Wow, Ms. Rich sure changed. She WAS magnanimous and fair in all her dealings." I know this might not happen in this year. I know that change is a slow process and we are all subject to set backs. having received a rather sharp reminder that my striving has yet produced perfection or even understanding I have to return again to a more simplistic attempt to pursue and convey love so today, for this week, for the month of March I want to work on magnanimity in the face of all the drama and conflict at school. I want to keep my mouth shut, my ears open, my mind willing to see another's perspective and most of all I want to be generous, kind and forgiving; selfless because I do not take things personally.

May God find my efforts humble and an offering to Him in His mighty greatness and may He be pleased to lift me up and support my ineptitude and inabilities so that HIS love might shine through me, and I might decrease.


Tessa said...

I like your thoughts very much... what a great word to embrace.

Christine Luppino said...

I agree-a trait that we can all strive for--and you can lead the way, be the trail blazer!