My Favorite Ride at Disney speaks of hope
When I rode my favorite "slow ride" at Disney yesterday, Peter Pan, I literally relished the music and feeling. The entire ride is set to the song is entitled "You can Fly."
Once you embark, you follow Peter Pan leading his new friends from their tiny nursery to fly over the rooftops of London where the cars look like tiny phosphorescent ants on the noodle-sized streets below. Then, Peter leads them through adventure, danger, and finally to a place where the good guy gets the girl and the bad guy stands spread eagle holding open the jaws of the crocodile while yelling "Smee, help me!"
It is the stuff a little (or big) girl's dreams are made of.
It is my favorite ride because ultimately I'm one of those semi-naive people who truly believes that if we tune out the naysayers and sarcastic cold water committees that we can truly accomplish things that are seemingly impossible.
I mean, the bumblebee isn't supposed to be able to fly, for goodness sakes, but nobody told him and nobody told me.
The Truly Great
I adore great men and women such as Winston Churchill, Abe Lincoln, Dale Carnegie, and Helen Keller because they weren't supposed to be able to fly either. They lived through the tough times and didn't listen to critics but overcame and overcame and when they couldn't hold out any more, they got up again and overcame some more!
I've often wondered how amazing it would be if Dale Carnegie had been a blogger and I could have read his work one day at a time as it emerged. I want to be that inspirational. I want to be better and more. I want to fly! And I want to convince the kids I work with that they can too.
I've had enough of those critics who want to deflate the tires of my airplane and give me all the reasons I can't do something. I hope you'll choose to ignore them too.
Within us are the seeds of greatness
For I believe that within each of us are the seeds of greatness. And it is the stories of overcomers that are truly the great ones -- (not the stories of silverspoon babies who were successful via inheritance). It is the tough real life stories that they usually make movies about. (Rudy, Pursuit of Happyness (yes, I spelled it correctly), We Are Marshall, Flyboys, Chariots of Fire... and on and on).
Problems give us the opportunity to be great overcomers
It is the kid like I was that had no friends (the few I had the bullies took away in 6th grade) and had no beauty (I was called ugly by "the kids" in my class until I started winning beauty pageants in the 11th grade) and had no background (the other freshmen at Georgia Tech told me I'd flunk out the first semester and I went on to graduate first in my class) and had no hope (when my husband and I lost our entire life savings ten years a go on a pecan grove that went under water in the flood of 1994 -- we've just paid off all of the debt) and was stupid (when I left my six figure general manager job to be a stay at home mom) and would be nothing (when I gave up my business to be a teacher). My life is chock full of those stories -- and not to my harm but to my blessing. (I can honestly say that I've been happy though!)
Every time I have a problem as I pray about it on my knees, I envision the amazing providence that will be evident when God blesses me and helps me work through and past that problem. God has truly blessed me!
I shall not be defined by opinions but what I do for others
I shall not be defined by others' opinions! Rather, what do I do to make a difference in the lives of other people? What have I done to encourage them to be more and tune out the naysayers? What have I done to share what I've learned? What have I done to give others the credit they deserve? What have I done to help people who are having a rough time? What have I done to help lift the underdog out of the mud, brush them off, and give them hope?
Put your finger in the water if you feel indispensable
If I sound like I want to be superwoman, that is not me at all. In fact, this life isn't about me. Any time I feel indispensable, I put my finger in a glass of water and pull I out and remember that the cemetery is full of indispensable people who left just as much a mark on the world as the finger left in the water.
But the only thing I shall leave behind is the engravings on the heart of others. That is a legacy. That is where I want to spend my time and that time is short!
So, as I consider the many blessings I have -- my God, my family, my students, my school -- I am now adding another blessing to my list -- the edublogging community which is full of truly great people who rise above and never let others tell them that they can't fly.
You amazing edubloggers that I read and that comment here do fly. You do it every day. You overcome people who misunderstand, misrepresent, and miscommunicate with you. You overcome people who often treat you like the machines you work so closely with and do not understand your feelings and that you need to be told "thank you" every so often. You overcome because you stick it out and work with children who rarely say thank you but demand all of the stores of energy we can muster.
You are my inspiration and I am honored to now call myself one of you! Every time I read a story about how you've overcome, I know I can do it too!
So, as you set your goals for next year and review your life remember this:
You can fly!