Saturday, January 23, 2016

The word: HATE

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. I was in 8th grade, and we were hanging around talking to my favorite teacher (HOPS) before the bell dismissed us to our next class. It was a normal day, nothing different, but what was said has always stuck with me.

I made a comment about hating someone. Truthfully, I can't remember who I hated at that time. It wasn't the teacher, as she was my favorite of all-time, but I remember saying, "I hate ______" and Hops, without missing a beat said, "No, you don't hate people. That's not something you want in you."

I have never forgotten that, and have NEVER used the phrase "I hate you", in referring to a person. She was right, hate is something a person shouldn't desire to have in them. It makes people do weird things. She didn't tell me that last part, it's simply been something I've witnessed as I've traveled through life.

I don't know if Hops remembers the conversation. Probably not, as I can recall former kids returning to me and saying, "Don't you remember when you said ____?" And I'm like, "Um, no, but I'm glad you do." *grin* Over and over again I am reminded that people are listening and watching, even when you think that they're not.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I was processing with a student. Obviously, I'm not going to go into details or share a name in regard to this child. However, for the first time in seventeen years, I had a student say to me, "I hate you."

I immediately thought of Hops' words to me. At the same time, I knew that wasn't the moment to go into what she taught me. While I can't share what happened afterward, I will say that I was proud of how I handled it because I treated him with love and respect even as he repeated it a couple more times.

My other students also got to witness (because the boy was loud enough for them to hear) me treat him with respect, love, and care. I also found it amazingly memorable how the kids treated me after that student left my room. I had several kids hug me and ask me if I was okay. I just smiled.

As one kid was mad at me, another seven wanted to make sure I was okay.

How cool is that? *grin*

By the way, I told them I was fine and life continued.

All day today I've thought about the boy, and have prayed for all of us who work with him on a daily basis.

I'm not giving up on him.



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