I have students who don't know why others struggle to like them. They might get some insight if they read what is posted tonight. The name of the student in the entry below comes up every year in my classes as I explain the artists who painted the mural of Jesus on our classroom wall. You will understand why after you read this entry from 1/11/06.
Our mouths get us in trouble. We say things we don't mean and we speak before we think. Our electronic age has added to our woes. Athletes, politicians, and entertainment celebrities are recorded constantly. I listen to Houston's 790 AM radio, an ESPN affiliate. This week, the morning hosts were kidding ESPN football analyst Sean Saulsberry for something he said on Stephen A. Smith's TV show. In response to Joe Theismann's prediction that Washington would be in the Super Bowl, Saulsberry promised that if the Redskins did make it that far, he would walk naked from Bristol, Connecticut to Washington, DC in January. You know what has happened. The Redskins now have a shot of making it and Saulsberry is backtracking. He says in that eventuality, he WILL walk from Bristol to the nation's capital but it will be in the spring, he will be clothed, and the event will be used to raise money for charity. Good save- most people can't get out of it that easily! A big controversy this week is whether James Frey, the author of the bestselling A Million Little Pieces, fabricated or embellished parts of his book. Random House today announced they will refund the purchase price to consumers who wish to get their money back. The Senate is undergoing contentious "Advise and Consent" hearings in the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court. Every spoken or written word from this judge in the past thirty years is open for debate and interpretation. A jurist leaves a paper trail that can come back to haunt him or her. We are talking about Jesus' teaching on speech in my 10th grade Bible class. The Savior taught that our words should be few. In Matthew 5:37, on the topic of oaths, he put it this way:
"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No;' anything beyond this comes from the evil one."We talked about lying and having to tell a lie to cover a lie you told followed by a third lie to cover up the cover up lie. Lying is complicated! The truth is simple. The more we talk, the more we get into trouble, whether with honesty issues or with words leading to anger. In James 4:4, we are told that, "no man can tame the tongue." Some come closer than others in the taming process.
In the music world, 'the Boss' is legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen. In 1974, Jon Landau of Rolling Stone Magazine penned this prophetic line: "I have seen the future of rock and roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Landau was correct- Springsteen contributed classics like Born To Run and Born In The USA to the American musical landscape as well as scores of other hits over thirty years. At Westbury Christian School, Boss carries a different identity. Suphanut Chansangajev is a WCS sophomore. He is from Thailand and he is brilliant. Because of difficulty in pronouncing his names for native English speakers, he simply answers to Boss. My limited knowledge of Thailand and its culture leads me to believe the Thai people as a group are very reserved, at least to western standards. If so, Boss would seem the model Thai young man. He excels academically, never gets in trouble, and plays football for our Wildcat squad. I've never had a lengthy conversation with Boss. He is the quietest student I've ever taught. He smiles constantly and is a great artist. One characteristic sets Boss apart from most of the human race: EVERYBODY LIKES HIM! He is universally admired and loved by faculty and student body. I asked my 10th grade Bible class why this was so. They knew the answer. "Boss never says anything to make anybody mad." They are absolutely right. There have been times when I almost had to force him to speak up but it was the product of shyness, never disrespect. The kids know that Boss never has an unkind word for anyone and never lies about anyone. He has the teaching of Jesus down to an art form, the 'yes and no' clause. Most of our problems with others are caused by words. When we limit what we say, we don't have to remember what we said. Sometimes, kids want to know why nobody likes them. I have a counseling solution. I'm going to tell them, "Go see the Boss!"
Applicable quote of the day:
"The speed of the boss is the speed of the team."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org