Young and inspirational. -The reason I start this.

I believe that everyone’s called to do something extraordinary. Everyone’s called to live a life that brings colors to the bigger picture, the Master’s plan, and every soul matters. I believe, whether young or old, man or woman, rich or poor, simply everyone, has some best thing they’re good at and each has the same potentials to inspire.

But potentials stay potentials if they’re not cultivated. Potentials are great initials, great starts, and a fresh start line doesn’t make any difference on the road. It will be simply a thin line, people see it because it exists, but it doesn’t matter to them. What makes it matter then is that it drives people to cross it, to start taking the first step, to start running. Indeed, people have potentials, but not too many of them cultivate their potentials. Not many of them do something about it. not many of them put maximum effort on developing it. even sadder, too many of them don’t realize that they have potentials.

I remember quoting Lecrae’s quotes, “Believe the best about people. Pray for their shortcomings. You are not the standard. We all need grace.” Believe the best about people. When we meet a person for the first time, say that he or she is handicapped. We must start feeling sorry for him/her and start thinking about how this person overcomes life’s struggles with that situation. We tend to see the shortcomings than the potentials deep within. Even to ourselves. We tend to be stuck with our shortcomings and weaknesses that we don’t realize that God has also graced us with strengths and just something we’re actually good at. I have seen so many people, ordinary people, directly and indirectly, with many life’s struggles and limitations but did overcome and make brilliant breakthroughs. It all starts with the minds. Do we, today, choose to believe in the best of people and even ourselves, or in the reverse? Not an easy question though. There are times that we failed and things seem to be falling apart. There are times that we are trapped in inferiority because there are people around us seem to belittle us. But there are also times that we are trapped in inferiority because we just can’t stop comparing ourselves with others. Again, it all starts with the minds.

This very hour I am writing this, I would like to choose to believe in the best of people, and in the best of me. Not because I feel like I am good enough or people are good enough. Never. We are never good enough. We are who we are because of grace. God’s grace is so rich that we are called to take part in his grand plan. I choose to believe that, by God’s grace in you, you can overcome. I choose to believe that, by God’s flowing grace in me, I can overcome. Each of us is equipped with something good so that we can inspire others to do the same thing with their lives as well. I believe that you and I can do something extraordinary.

 

There are many experiences and encounters that have brought me to stand on where I stand right now. God has graced me with such an opportunity to have gone through almost 25 years of life. I cannot claim that I have experienced many because I know there are some others at the same age as I am but have experienced more. However, I am thankful for the little experiences I have. In almost 25 years being alive, breathing, I have got an opportunity to get exposed to education, higher education a luxury of which some others haven’t got to have.

I am thankful that I got to go to a good school and get encounters to inspiring people. It’s definitely a luxury that I got to learn inside and outside the building. I got good classes from good experienced professors and I got connected to great people from inside and outside the school. Being exposed to ideas, knowledge, and people with their thoughts has enriched my in many ways. One important lesson is this: each person is unique, each person brings unique colors to the grand picture, each person matters, each person is called to do something in contribution to the kingdom. Nobody’s left behind. In their own way people take part and function as a member of the whole body. Nobody’s too great and nobody’s too small, because each one is given his portion. Not more than he is capable of, nor less than his capacity.

I have seen so much both directly and indirectly, how people in their weaknesses and limitations strive to live bigger than themselves. I have seen many examples how people make a difference in an indifferent world. Living bigger than self, seems to be the key. When life is no more about me but it’s about the good of others and the glory of the Maker. Life gets its best meaning. We get the best reason to live. We live the best eternal purpose planted deep in our hearts, even way before we were born. I believe, God has something great for us to do. And only his grace alone drives us to keep working.

I believe that the people have once been in a desperate moments of feeling inferiority and insecurity, feeling unworthy because of their shortcomings or limitations. But they believed that they were meant to be more than who they were. They had faith that God has something great for them to do. Their faith then moved them forward to become who they are today. They realize that they are limited, they have shortcomings, they know they are not perfect, but deep inside their hearts they believe that they are given precious gifts to unwrap, ready to be cultivated. And they did unwrap their gifts and cultivate them to bless, inspire, and above all else, to give back all the credits and glory to the Maker.

 

So, what now?

I know of some people who are young and inspirational. I may not have known them personally but I have heard of what they do and how God works in their lives bringing them to the place and things they’re up to right now. They have inspired me and I hope that they can inspire you as well. So, here I am, with the gift I am given, I would love to write and share to you how God works in people’s lives that they are enabled to believe in, to get off their limitations, to make a difference, and to inspire.

Another day, another lesson learned. #4

This reflection is inspired by Lecrae’s quote.

“Believe the best about people. Pray for their shortcomings. You ARE NOT the standard. We all need grace.”

This is what I have come to know as a teacher: I have to believe in the best about my students. No bargaining. It’s a must.

It reminds me about an event one month ago, October 18, 2013. The first Parents-Teachers Conference in my life as a real teacher. Well, even though I was not directly involved as in writing the narrative report or meeting the parents to present the report, I learned something from what I saw.

A narrative report is a report written by a homeroom teacher which contains information of the student’s learning and behavior progress as well as his/her strengths and weaknesses during some period of time. A narrative report also includes a commitment taken by the parents and students about the improvements they are going to make in the future. A narrative report is usually reported four times in a year, or once in every quarter. The narrative report has to be written in a positive manner that the teachers should find each student’s strengths and weaknesses. According to most of my fellow teachers who are responsible to write narrative reports, it is very easy to write the reports for good, nice, bright students, because it’s obvious that they have strengths in many aspects. But there are also some other students that are very unique, in a way that it is also obvious that they have strengths, but in doing violations, in having very low achievements, or in showing no motivation in class. Remember, a narrative report has to be written in positive language. I learned that most of fellow teachers were having hard times writing some reports for some students. Every teacher had their own students that they struggled writing the report about.

This is what I learned. We, human, have that tendency to be so hard finding other people’s strengths especially if they have been already labeled as “bad” or “difficult” or “troubled”. And shame on me, I have been doing the same thing to my students too. There are times in class when I am about to have tests, I often have that picture in my head of students that I think are not going to make it. There are times that I call on some students’ names for tests, deep in my heart there is a whisper like “Oh, this student again. He is not gonna make it like the other tests he has failed.” And true as I have thought, he failed for the many times as he has been.

Oh. Such a slap in the face.

Instead of believing the best about my students, I put many kinds of labels on them.

If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:46-48

To put those verses in teacher’s version, it will be like this:

If you love only those bright students, what reward is there for that? If you are only kind to only good, easy-to-handle students, how are you different from other teachers out there who don’t know Me? But you are to be perfect, even as your Teacher in heaven is perfect.

Taking a commitment to follow and obey Him is not a once-taken-commitment. We fall short almost every time. Well, I fall short every time. But that commitment is to be taken daily, as we start a new day, we are given a new opportunity to learn more, to be better, to be more like Him. It takes all the courage to admit that we all fall short and we all need grace. It takes all the awareness that we have limitations to surrender fully to His strength.

Another day, another lesson learned.