My Precious Duty to Teach Diversity and Kindness

Ubuntu

I don’t have time to journal today.  I am preparing lesson plans for my psychology students, printing library memes to laminate,  reading 6 lengthy articles as nourishment to  my academia, setting up a video presentation for grad school that has to be narrated and embedded into the discussion board by Sunday, and looking at grading 32 video-taped mock interviews + Venn Diagrams and APA-style reference pages… all ready to be set up against my rubrics and assessed by yours truly.

That’s for starters.

But I find that in the middle of this beautiful workload, I want to reflect on the “launch” that I gave my students as they left my class and walked out into their worlds for the weekend.

Ubuntu, as you can read in the picture, is a gracious, beautiful way that some Africans have of dealing out forgiveness and forward-thinking when someone makes a drastic mistake.  A chance to re-set.  An opportunity to be “seen” and validated as a human with flaws but enormous capabilities for personal evolution and growth.  This is special.  This is rare.  Not shame, not punishment… but a new chance to re-think one’s worth and contributions to the world.

I had the chance to share this concept with over 60 humans today, and I encouraged them to take the word “Ubuntu” and turn it into a verb.  Go out and ubuntu someone this weekend.  Give them a chance.  Give them grace.  YOU go out and turn YOUR world upside down.

I have the highest hopes and dreams that this act of encouragement will grow and be MY little act of improving a corner of the world that will eventually expand out through my students.

It’s why I do what I do.  The passion is real.

Now, to get back to the meat and potatoes, the grueling hours of real work & preparation that lie under the iceberg of teaching in those glowing moments when eyes get wider or even a little bit teary when they learn something as precious as this concept.

“Dit is die moeite werd.” – Afrikaans

It is worth it.

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