What’s a summer break for?

Yes – we know the typical answers. But reading Parker Palmer’s book The Promise of Paradox made me think about how purposeful we need to be in our profession as teachers and leaders of learning. This quote of Thomas Merton (as quoted by Palmer) struck me:

“He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas.”

I guess what struck me is that as educators we have the opportunity before us again in the action/reflection cycle to cease the intense action and “work on ourselves” for a while.  What can we do that will restore our energy and at the same time deepen our capacity to love more deeply, to resist cynicism, to care for others more than we have this year, to increase our patience, to humble ourselves before the Lord?  I encourage you to feed your soul this summer!

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1 Comment

Filed under devotional, encouraging the heart, staff development, use of time

One response to “What’s a summer break for?

  1. Rita Davis

    I agree. That is certainly food for thought. I will complete my 30th year of teaching in a few weeks. I have discovered the magic of the hammock and good books in the summer to restore mind, body, and soul. This summer I am called to branch out and serve in a completely different capacity, volunteering in a foreign country for a summer school for 3 weeks. Never one to teach summer school because I knew I needed the break, I am already energized by this- the proof it is God’s call- and I look forward to how God will use me as an instrument of His love.

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