August 31, 2009

Being Reflective

Being reflective. It is a trait that we all have, but it only seems to come to us at milestone events. A birthday, wedding, birth, anniversary, diagnosis, reunion, or death suddenly floods us with memories and emotions.

With major events, the media help stir up these feelings. This week the death of Senator Ted Kennedy once again brought forward those memories of both his life and that of his brothers and family. The past year has been a rather reflective one for the American people with the economic crisis, the election and inauguration of President Obama, and the recent deaths of Michael Jackson and now Senator Kennedy. Every event means something different to each of us.

In reading the many posts for this blog, you have seen some of that same reflective tone because in essence many times we must look back to move forward. In my line of work, I see some of the trials and tribulations of others and try to learn from them. I know as educators, you also catch those glimpses of your students' lives, and try to educate, help, and support them in the time they are with you.

Finally, I have been asked on occasion about the somewhat reflective nature of some of my posts, and I am reminded of a quote a high school educator once recited to my class as to why we study history:

"There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

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