You will grow to love them. And they will break your heart over and over again.
Loving another human being is scary business.
One second you’re saying I love you. The next second you’re throwing that same person out of your house. One minute you’re proclaiming that you’ll be best friends forever. The next minute you’re having a screaming match where there are no winners. Yesterday you made that lifelong vow – ’till death do us apart’. The next day, you’re signing divorce papers.
(Image Courtesy of Petar Milošević)
Do we ever actually know the people around us? Do we ever know if that happy beginning is actually going to end well? Perhaps you even had a bad first impression of someone who wound up being one of your closest friends.
If you’ve never read Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram, you must do immediately. It’s one of my favourite books of all time. If it wasn’t so thick, I would have read it about six times by now. For now, I’ve settled for re-reading quotes.
In it, he writes:
“Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we can never know which one is which until we’ve loved them, left them, or fought them.”
Scary stuff, huh.
Perhaps we should avoid relationships and friendships all together. It’ll save us the hassle of getting hurt and having our hearts broken. We should close and harden our hearts. Forget about being emotionally available and open. There’s no point. Everyone’s going to hurt you anyway. And if they’re not doing it now – they’ll do it in the future.
Really? Seriously? Are you kidding me?
That’s no way to live.
We humans are social creatures. Even the most introverted amongst us long for some kind of connection.
How about we just open our hearts to everyone instead? We should let them into our lives and into our homes. If they slap us on the right cheek, we should let them do the same to the left cheek. We should give and give and give till we have nothing left.
I reckon that’s no way to live either.
As a teacher, I have a job that requires me to work with some 500 people on a daily basis. A vast majority of them are way younger than me.
Over the years, I’ve had some bad kids. I mean…challenging kids. Oh no, sorry – it’s kids with challenging behaviours. Condemn the behaviour, not the child.
Gotta love the semantics and political correctness.
As any teacher can testify – there will be days where your kids piss you off. There will be days where you dread waking up in the morning cause you have to see that kid again. Teach that class again. Deal with that behaviour again.
But I get up each morning and I do it. I can’t speak for all teachers – but I love my kids. I want them to do well. I want them to succeed. I want them to be the best they can be. No matter how much they drive me up the wall – I forgive, forgive and forgive.
I don’t show up at work with a closed heart. Kids are smart. They’ll know. They’ll sense it. It takes a certain kind of heart to be a teacher. A hard-hearted educator will be hated. A soft-hearted person won’t last long in this profession.
This job requires a heart that can bounce back into shape after being stomped all over. It takes a…resilient heart.
In the past two years, I’ve come into contact with thousands of students in seven cities across Japan. I’ve taught angels, demons and everything in between. I love this job because there’s never a dull day. I’m constantly learning, evolving and growing. My heart and my mind have matured in ways I never thought possible.
I’ve had jobs that have paid more – but this one has been the most rewarding.
You will grow to love them. And they will break your heart over and over again. But don’t you worry, there will be no scars that won’t heal. And by the way – have you noticed how they love you back?