Sunday, September 25, 2011

Teams and Families

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." ~Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 4:2

Some of the times I miss teaching at a parochial school in stead of a public school are when I wish I could appeal to kids' personal faith in order to get them to treat each other better. There are some students who I try explaining concepts like respect, patience, and deference to but nothing seems to sink in.

It seems like in his book 'Seven Habits of Successful People,' Stephen Covey advises readers "seek first to understand, then to be understood." That's one reason that patience is important, because without it, we jump to conclusions.

Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden taught his players that emotion was their enemy. They learned and practiced skills and principles so that they would always be prepared to respond to any situation. He didn't want them to just react based on their emotions, that generally means OVER-reacting.

The other night at a football game a Senior cheerleader moved two Freshmen squad mates further down the row so that they'd avoid getting smacked in the face. One of the Freshman didn't realize this and assumed that the Senior was just being bossy and mean. Consequently she overreacted, fuming with anger, even threatening to quit cheerleading. She let herself get so caught up in feeling disrespected, that it never occurred to her that she was actually being protected

Of course, even if I had been free to say, "God wants us to make every effort to keep our unity," doesn't mean that they'd suddenly be compliant to me as their coach or deferential and respectful toward one another. Perhaps the best that I can do is to be gentle and patient, trusting that eventually they'll learn these kinds of lessons throughout their lives.

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