It Has Been Since July

Written on December 15, 2023…  Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2023.

For those celebrating Christmas, we have four “Advent” Sundays.  One Site’s Explanation on “Advent”

Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.

Really, one doesn’t have to be a Christian to enjoy / embrace those four beautiful words.

I will focus on LOVE.

It has been since July that I wrote about the word “Love.”  I encourage you to read that article.   It’s Become Almost Obsolete

This will be just a snapshot on my latest experience with the word “Love.”

I say to my new students (scholars), I love ya.

In response (to what I believe is a human act, saying “I love ya”) is one of, “What did he just say to me?!”  The students (scholars) are in shock.

Since 1989, I have told my students, “I love ya.”  And now that phrase is as foreign to them as hearing “Je t’aime.” (French for, “I love you.”)  Just in case you doubt that I have said “I love ya” or used the word “love” with my students, here is a picture of a card from 1994.  One of my former students past away from a heart attack.  When going through his belongings, his sister found this card from me to him – his senior year (Class of 1994)!

Every Friday I talk to one of my former students.  His 52nd birthday is tomorrow (December 16).  I love him because he is so honest (BLUNT) with me!  During each phone call, he will apologize to me several times because he “has” to be so honest (BLUNT) with me.  Today was no exception.  I didn’t get a day-off because it is his birthday tomorrow.

“Man!  I keep telling you!  You are not keeping up with the times.  What you were!  Who you were! 20! 15! Even FIVE YEARS AGO!  Has little to nothing to do with your students today!  You don’t have very much in common with your current students or even their parents!  Stop hitting your head against the wall.  GO TO WORK AND – WORK!  Do your job and GO HOME!  Stop getting yourself hurt.  Stop trying to save the world!”  Hope you can see why I love him!  He cares about me.

There are times when I don’t want to hear or even follow his advice on this specific topic (my passion is now “just a job”). I hate to say it, “He’s Correct.”

There are times when I do feel the only things I have in common with my students and many of their parents is the need to eat, drink water, and breathe!  I feel like the stick figure in Elon Musk’s meme.  I continue to want to love my students (scholars), but that love isn’t one of holding their hand or carrying them over the goal line or looking the other way when they break a rule.  No, love is agape and compassionAgape definition  Compassion definition  So, when I re-read these definitions of two important words (agape & compassion), I do have a sense those two words are almost gibberish to people younger than me.

The students (scholars) are shocked when they are held accountable and then told, the reason I hold them accountable is because – say it with me – I LOVE YA!  I accept the responsibility to hold them accountable and I want them to accept the responsibility to reach that level of accountability.

In this season of “love,” please consider embracing and using the word “love.”  Make the use of the word “love” a phase / a fad that returns as a habit.

Hope you enjoyed your Hanukkah.

Merry Christmas.  And yes… I LOVE YA!