Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Priority List

"The Priority List" by David Menasche

This was a great book.  I recommned teachers and anyone who deals with teens to read this book.  It was inspirational and informative.  It is a true story about a high school teacher who inspires his students to learn.  He earns their respect and respects them in return.  He finds out he has a brain tumor and continues to teach through his treatment.  When he can no longer teach he decides to take a cross country trip to visit his past students.  He finds out what they have gone on to accomplish and what he meant to them.  "'The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher insires,' the author and scholar William Arthur Ward wrote. I wanted to be a great teacher.  The best they'd ever had."  David wanted to be the best and he strove for it and many lives were changed because of him.  We should all strive to inspire those around us, to not just teach but inspire.  It's a rare person that can do that.  "Cancer had taken my past and would take my future, but it wouldn't take my present."  Cancer had started to affect his memories and it would eventually take his life but he was determined that he would live and enjoy what he had right now.  Living in the present is something we all need to do more of.  We live in the past and the hurts that have happened or look to what will come in the future for us and forget that right now is a gift, a gift that won't come again.  "But when you really know you're going to die, when you're prepared for death, that's when you learn how to live.  It's a bittersweet lesson.  Just when you learn how to live, you die.  But there's so much beauty in it.  All of a sudden, the sun in the sky is a reason to rejoice, flowers come alive, a gentle breeze on your face feels almost spiritual.  Who you are is defined no longer by what you do but by what you give and how you love.  To me, that felt like a good death."  And it's a good life too.  Learning to appreciate the little things of the every day.  "For my entire life, I had been so intent on never needing anyone that I'd never learned to trust people enough to allow myself to depend on them."  We are here for each other, we need each other.  We can't do this thing called life alone, God designed us for community.  "If I can rejoice in your victories, I have to share in your defeats."  It is easy to rejoice with others but it is often hard to share in their sorrow or defeats but this is what real relationships look like.  We can't just be there in the good, we need to share the sadness too.  

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