Sunday, January 27, 2013

Life As It Is


It took me longer than my usual hour to walk down the grocery store aisles yesterday, not because I was going carefully through my grocery list but because once I entered I went into what I called a slow motion mood of observation. I love my trips to smell and touch every fruit and vegetable before bringing them home but yesterday it was all about the people surrounding me and it was totally unconscious. Life gives us amazing glimpses when we take time to be still and just look with different eyes.

Next to the apples, an old couple was standing, still holding hands, helping each other gather the products they will later consume with a gratitude smile for the years lived and the time spent together. Near the greens, a middle age guy in a hurry to grab and go. I could see it in his face this was the standard he lives by; always too busy and cruising by. From the pastries, a little girl was begging her mom for some brownies and mom replying she couldn't have so many sweets. The meat man was on his feet trying to earn his living attracting customers with a good morning while announcing the deal of the day. There was the lady reading the magazine she didn't buy, the cashier looking at the clock from time to time counting the hours left to go home, and the housewife packed with coupons hoping to save some money and beat the economy crisis. And then, it was me, thinking how amazing and matchless each of us is., how we all have our own story and try to deal with its ups and downs the best we can, and how at some point all those stories weave together making us one.

“Are you OK lady? I heard from behind me. “Yes. I am just looking around me.” He smiled with the wisdom of age and said: “Good. This is life as it is and most of the times it is pretty darn great.” And I thought about Shing Xiong famous quote: “In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many of those moments took your breath away.” 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Teacher Talk


I've been everywhere lately, consumed in my world; the world of the classroom, the students, and the weekly meetings trying to improve an education system that no matter what has been cracked for too long now on this side of the planet.  Over the years, I have worked with wonderful people, visionaries, and educators also consumed and ultimately manipulated by a system made for competition instead of collaboration, political agendas instead of a plan to educate the whole child, inside and out. I have been part of it and even with occasional upheavals the system finds the way to silent us in the end. My most effective strategy has been to provide the kind of education I believe in inside the four walls of what I call my sanctuary; my classroom and outside every time I have the chance to share life as it is with my students. It is there when I pass on my passion for living to the fullest and from the heart and to spread that love to those around us. It is from that sacred space that I hope that one day education will regain its fundamental purpose and mission to educate mind, body, and spirit as interconnected parts of the whole, in an effort to re-create the world we all wish for.
We are all teachers in a way. We all have a lesson to teach as well as many lessons to learn from those we teach.  I am pondering this is the time, like no other time before,  for all of us to create our own sacred space as a legacy for future generations, our legacy to this wonderful life we have been given to live. In the end, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided and this must be the main lesson to pass on. 

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Adultery by Paulo Coelho

AdulteryAdultery by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great story by Paulo Coehlo. Real life down to earth characters struggling to find the meaning of life; a mirror of what we all go through day by day. The amazing story of Linda makes us ponder and question. What's life's ultimate purpose? What force moves us? What is it that we should all strive for?

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