Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Thu 11/21/2002 4:38 AM
Random Thought: The Best Place To Be

I was sitting on a cool brick bench yesterday, taking in the invigorating afternoon chill, letting it help me get myself into a meditative mood as I got ready to go off to do my stuff at the Lilly Conference on teaching, when I heard a voice coming from my left.

"Hey, doc,"

I turned. Martha was running up to me. Her book-laden backpack was swaying like a demolition ball, doing it's best to destroy her balance and pull her to the ground.

She sat down besides me. "Got a question for you before we break for Thanksgiving."


"I graudate this spring and start teaching in the fall. I've got to start thinking where I want to go. Where do you think I should go?"

"I know where I would go. You're not going to like my answer."

"You telling me to go some run-down school in a city slum or some one room school house in some backwoods where they need me?"

"No. But, it's not a bad idea. They need good people like you there."

"Where, then?"

"Into your heart."

"Into my heart!!" Come on! I'm serious!"

"So, am I! Want to be a good teacher? Be a good person. Be a caring person. You are going to help others reach for the sacred fullness of their potential. Your heart is the place where love, caring, compassion, hope, and faith in yourself and others turns up. It's not in the supposedly best school system. It's not in the best salary. Your best lesson plans will be about becoming the real, honest, caring, compassionate, authentic person you are capable of becoming. Then, you'll be in a place where you what say and what you do will be like a guiding revelation to someone. Go into your heart. It's a powerful place to be. Do that, and you'll teach like a prayer.

"Like a prayer?"

"Like a prayer. Prayers are pleas. They are a yearning. My prayers for you and me, and even the world, aren't in my words. Words are easy to come by. My prayers are in the intensity and sincerity of all of my actions, especially in what a lot of people might ignore as 'just little, everyday nothing stuff.'"

Martha paused. "Like this 'little' conversation?"

"Like this 'big' conversation."

"You know, Dr. Schmier, you're wrong.


"I like your answer. Have a happy Thanksgiving."

"You, too. And, I want to see you back here. So, don't eat and drive."

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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