Letter to Teachers Struggling with Disillusionment

People do make a difference and things do change. Racial integration is a prime example in my life time.
But the path to change is never fast or easy and often involves people losing their livelihoods or even their lives for the cause. And when the perceived goal is actually achieved, it’s never anywhere near perfect. It’s an imperfect world filled with imperfect people, including us. So there’s always a gap between the vision and the reality. This is hard for those of us, who are idealists and visionaries.
A change in law or even a change in government can seem to happen overnight, but the change in people happens in tiny increments and takes a long time to become perceivable.
I have realized that I, personally, expect too much. But, I have grown in my ability to persevere and to keep the faith that God is alive and well and involved in our becoming whom He created us to be, both as individuals and humanity.
I still feel frustrated when no one shares my vision. And it’s a hard reality, that being by nature an agent for change does not make anyone popular, no matter how kind or pure of heart they may be.  The prophets were God’s agents of change and they usually got killed for their trouble.
Another pitfall, for those of us wanting to make a difference, is that it can become an idol. The heart of the challenge is finding the grace to persevere, when we not only can’t see results, but experience both rejection and feelings of failure.
Pace yourself, and as best you can, accept the reality of bureaucratic insanity as the thorn in your side. And most of all, find ways to renew your spirit or you will burn out.
When we get to whatever heaven is, we will probably be surprised that the things we did that actually touched lives and rippled out from them, aren’t even the things we remember doing.  But that’s okay. We aren’t God. And He can actually use even our screw ups, if we keep giving ourselves to Him.
What is the scripture?…..All God asks of us is to…… love justice and walk humbly with our God.
The older I get, the more I realize that the most important virtue is humility and the most important strength is perseverance.

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of five. 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, Was married for 60 years to an Architect in Middle Tennessee.

Posted on October 12, 2012, in Gifts of Age, Spiritual, Teaching/Learning Experiences and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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