Monday, May 25, 2015

What You Say, What You Do AND How You Make People Feel

Maya Angelou once wrote, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." With all due respect to the late poet, I would like to politely disagree. 
“One of the potential spiritual lessons
of sports comes in its ability to connect 

people–to each other as well as to a
team of strangers.” —Dr. Michael Tino

As a teacher, I work very hard so that my students will remember what I say. Or rather, not what I said, but what great authors, theologians, poets and artists and in my course, athletes have spoken or written for us to hear. I also think it invaluable that they know—again—not only what I did, but what their peers, mentors, coaches and heroes have done. Feelings are not facts. They are important, but they can also be wrong. 

However, what I believe Ms. Angelou was pointing to is the power of an encounter. The ability for one person to connect to another should not be underestimated. When we treat the other with respect and kindness, when we listen and seek to understand, we can't help but appreciate and remember that action. 

In a recent project, I was struck my how many of my students recalled the importance of the Golden Rule. As Matthew 7:12 states, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. This is the law and the prophets." I was also moved by what they identified as important and memorable from our course readings. So here's a display of what people have said...what they have done...and from that, I guess you'll get a sense of how it makes them feel. Enjoy

“I said to coach, ‘I was a 7-foot high jumper in high school, why don’t I go over the top'?"Bo Jackson (ESPN Films:  You Don't Know Bo)
We must recognize that narratives matter. —The National Catholic Review

“Soccer was the best way I knew to be a part of a community” —Nick Pugliese
The 2015 MVP

"During peak experiences,  one finds connectedness with the universe around us-sometimes one is overwhelmed with that sense of being part and parcel of a vast and wondrous creation....I thought of women's basketball."

Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race. –Eric Liddell

“We are part of a universe, that part has become conscious of itself,
wherin everything yearns for something beyond just itself."
—Ron Rolheiser
Photo Credits
Thank you to my seniors, Class of 2015!

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