Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Seed

As the summer winds down for us and we gear up for the start of school next week, I'm trying to get myself organized.  Try being the operative word.  Every year I start a new file folder on my desk for each of my kids.  I also label a box with their name and grade.  In the folder goes everything that I want to, important papers, drawings, awards, etc... (the rest goes in the trash, but don't tell my almost 6 year old this!)  Then once the folder is full I move everything to the box.  I came across a poem from my son's second grade year.  This poem does not get put in the box.  I keep it out and read it from time to time.  Second grade was a magical year for Jack.  It was the year he had a teacher who not only inspired him, but one who truly "got" him and pushed him to his full potential.  She was kind, but firm.  She was creative, but structured.  She encouraged the kids to think outside the box.  I know that years down the road she will be that one who always stays with him in his heart when he recalls one of his favorite teachers.  I want to share with you all the poem that Mrs. Washington has her class memorize every year.  We gave her this poem printed on one of my photographs and it hangs outside her classroom.  Even now as Jack gets ready to start the fourth grade he can remember not only the words from "Ano Ano (the seed)" but also the meaning behind them.

(the seed)
And they were taught the laws of life;
That their treatment of others
would return at last upon themselves.
Those who cheat will be cheated.
Those who slander will be slandered.
For every lie you tell, you will be lied to.
Brutality will be met with brutality.
We get what we give and to the same degree
and not always from the same people
with whom we've dealt.
But somewhere, sometime, somehow,
Someone will treat you in a like manner.
The good we do to others will return.
For your kindness to others,
you will received hospitality in far places yourself.
Understand the trouble of others
who come to you with their souls bared
and when you cry yourself,
you will be sympathetically understood.
We get what we give, like always attracts like.
The is the law and it is inevitable.
We cannot escape the results of our actions.
We get what we give.

In a world where we are overwhelmed with stories of hatred and violence I sincerely hope that there are more Mrs. Washington's who are helping children understand that they get what they give.  What they put in to something will come back to them twofold. Kindness is a very powerful thing. 

As July comes to a close next week, don't forget our theme of the month, Water.  There are some fabulous water shots in our Flickr Pool and we'd love to see even more! 


Dotti said...

Oh, my, Leigh! This is such a timely post. The principles are, in general, those that we should remember every day. But hearing this just days after the tragedy in Aurora add to the poignancy and import of this message. I know for you in OKC, there were wounds that were opened by recent events. Oh! If only we could all etch these words indelibly on our hearts and minds and better yet ... LIVE THEM.

Jack is fortunate to have had such an outstanding teacher.


AFishGirl said...

This made me weep, Leigh. Amen. Amen.

Carol said...

This is so moving. That's not just a good teacher, but a wonderful person. I hope you invite her to read your post today. A good teacher can change the life of her student, but look here - she has also changed the rest of your family, and now - us. Dotti is correct - Jack was blessed to have her.

ashley said...

powerful yet simple words that hold timeless meaning and lessons for all.

heyjudephotography said...

Yes, I do hope you invite Mrs.Washington to read your post today so she will know how much she has positively affected Jack, and your whole family. That is a beautiful, important poem. I am so glad that you shared it with all of us.

leigh said...

Thank you all for encouraging me to share it with Mrs. Washington. You can see by her response just how special she is!

As Shakespeare once said, "I can but one reply make and that is thanks, thanks, and ever thanks." Tears stream down as I insanely appreciate you, your sweet family, and your willingness, yea, your uncanny gift of The Seed. Humbly yours, Paula P.S. Just yesterday, I was a little (okay, a lot) wobbly and off kilter about not being able to find the beautiful gift you gave of "Ano Ano." Last night, Frank assured me that it was packed away safely and he would find it. How could you know how much I needed the reminder that these words are important? Now that's what I call a "booga booga" experience. Not surprising since you've been at this angel thing for at least four thousand years! Yep, there's a trail of wing feathers...not exactly're busted!!! Infinite love and gratitude!

Leigh said...

I shared it with her Judy and posted her response below. Such a wonderful lady!

Leigh said...

I so agree with you Ashley!

leigh said...

I shared the post with her and shared her response below in the comments. Such a special lady!

Leigh said...

It is powerful isn't it Pam!

leigh said...

Read her response that I posted in the comments Dotti. Such an amazing lady!

Terri Porter said...

Oh, she does sound like an amazing teacher and an amazing person! How wonderful to teach this, a wonderful lifelong lesson, to children when they are so young. If only all children could have the same teaching, this world would be a much better place. And showing Mrs. Washington how much you appreciate her, both in your gift of the framed poem to hang and for letting her know about your post today shows what an amazing person you are as well. I am proud to know you.

Kim Stevens said...

Yes Leigh, these are great words! Just the other day when I was going through some things I found a paper that my daughter wrote, I think last year, and she asked the question, "Is it at all hypocritical that the thing that confuses me in life is my own species?" She questions what makes some people drive planes into buildings and some risk their lives to save someone they don't know. She goes on to say though, that she believes that inside everyone, no matter how deep you must look to find it, there is a little bit of hero in all of us. It shows more prevalently in some more than others, but it is always there. We all have access to it, and we all have the ability to be someone's hero. She's right, and I also think that despite what the media wants us to know, there is far more good happening in the world than evil.

leigh said...

Terri you are too sweet! I'm proud to call you my friend :)

Mary Ellis said...

I love this poem. Mrs. Washington sounds pretty amazing!
Jack will remember her. She left a mark with him. I am still friends with the best teacher I ever had in my life. Mrs. Spencer was my 9th grade english teacher and she is insanely awesome as well!
I hope my boys are blessed with fantastic teachers in their life.
Thank you for sharing. It seems we (as a society) do not give teachers enough spotlight or enough positive strokes. They deserve so much.

kelly said...

i can think of alot of adults who could do to memorize this poem! i think it's remarkable that mrs. washington taught this to her 2nd graders. this is big stuff for that age! but it's those types of teachers that encourge kids to grow and stretch (teachers who believe that they are capable to get it!) that make the biggest impact. thanks for sharing this wonderful poem leigh!

leigh said...

It is wonderful when teachers become our friends!

leigh said...

I agree Kelly! Henry & Jack both had Mrs. Washington so I'm pretty sure Henry could rattle this off for you at your next family gathering!

Barbara said...

Marvelous image.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Tugs at my heart. What a lovely story. Thanks for brightening my day.

Deanna said...

Oh Leigh, I was so touched by your post and by that beautiful poem. Just think how many people this has touched over the years and now you have brought it to us and touched us with its beauty. Jack was so blessed to have a teacher like Mrs. Washington, one that will live him forever. Thank you for this!!

PS...I can't believe your kids start to school next week. wow!!

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