Thursday, February 6, 2014

In My Lifetime...

There is a wall-sized chalkboard in my office that has a question for the kids to answer every day. Sometimes the questions are light-hearted or funny (“what’s your favorite band” or “if you could have a super power, what would it be?”).  Sometimes they’re a little deeper and more thought-provoking with questions like “what makes something beautiful” or “”who do you admire the most?” I don’t use questions that are just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses but that need to have an answer for a response. Not everyone takes the time but it has become a fun after school activity.

Recently I came across an open-ended sentence that got me thinking. It was one of those sentences that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer and could be taken in many different directions depending on what you read into it. It could be taken lightly or given a really challenging response. I was looking forward to using it with the students and was curious as to the answers I’d get.

The sentence was:

“In my lifetime, I’d like to…”

I got some silly responses as I usually do but there were a couple that stood out to me.  One was “to have my name known for good and respect.” I didn’t understand the next one at first that said “Bring change to the following lifetime.” In other words, they wanted to influence the generations that came after, something that keeps me going every day.

The best, simplest and most profound for me probably was the answer that simply said: “Live.”

Such an easy response but how many truly live during their lifetimes, getting caught up in the complexity and stress of life instead.

So how about you: “In my lifetime, I’d like to…”