I keep listening to TED Talks expecting to run out of inspiring stories of visionary people. I’ve been going there quite awhile and that hasn’t yet happened. TED, I believe has discovered the way to unearth greatness and I feel no need to copy them. I’ll just continue following and sharing.
This week Mia Birdsong begins by telling a secret I learned when I started teaching in 1970. If you want to solve problems, go to the source for your answers, not in a condescending or judgmental manner, but humbly seeking understanding (compassion) and learning. I believe every real teacher knows this intuitively even if they are not able to express it.
Besides teaching, I sold life insurance for sixteen years. My clientele while different in social standing, age and backgrounds, were absolutely no different in their need to solve the problems in their lives, problems, most of us think we would like to have. It’s a case of the grass is always greener… My insurance clients, like my students had to examine their own lives and resources and come up with a solution. As their agent, I did what I did as a teacher, listen, made some suggestions and encourage the journey.
If you take the time out of your busy day to watch Mia’s TED talk you will learn of Jobana, Sintia and Bertha dealing with problem of making money while trying to raise little kids. You’ll meet Brianna, a child who taught her friend who only spoke Spanish, how to speak English. Finally, you’ll get to meet Bakir, who will welcome you in to his BlackStar Cafe with “Welcome black home!” There Mia will awaken your senses with tales of Baakir’s Algiers jerk chicken and buttermilk drops which according to Mia is “several steps above a donut hole.” You’ll also discover a community center that the wealthiest of communities can only dream of.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.