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I've liked the music of Kenny Rogers for several years. Having attended a couple of his concerts, I can appreciate the gravel of his voice and his selection of songs to record and perform. One song stands out for many people. Titled The Gambler, the chorus says, "You've got to know when to hold 'em / Know when to fold 'em / Know when to walk away / Know when to run / / You've never count your money / When you're sittin' at the table / There'll be time enough for countin' / When the dealin's done."
In Kim Beardens book, Crash Course, she writes about instilling certain standards in our children. In one chapter, she communicates that we want our children to know when to walk away from certain situations and when to walk toward other situations.
As parents and educators, we all tell our children to "choose your friends wisely." We love it when our children surround themselves with other kids who have good character, a strong work ethic, and a cheerful disposition. We tell students that they are often influenced by the friendships they keep, and we encourage them to seek out positive peer relationships. We harp on the relationships our children gravitate toward, and we don't hesitate to tell our children when they are hanging out with the wrong crowd. Yet as adults, we often fail to adhere to these guidelines. We all need to know when it is best to walk away.
When our new superintendent, Dr. Mendy Moss, introduced herself to me, last week, she found out that I am one of the few veteran teachers in Joplin Schools. With my 27 years of experience, she asked if I was considering retirement yet.
I am not...but I have started to consider the possibilities of a future retirement. I cannot believe it comes so soon.
Dr. Moss gave me a wise proverb. She told me that a person does not retire from something, but that he retires to something.
Now there is something on which I must meditate.
In Bearden's book she, too, considers the way all of this works. She understands that a wise person - a visionary - needs to walk toward something. When one turns away from evil, he turns toward good...and vice versa.
Walk toward individuals who exude excellence and goodness, and surround yourself with those who make you a better person. Bond with individuals who are good for your soul.