Updated: Apr 4, 2021
The story is told of a man who placed a basket of delicious fruits near a tree trunk and told the, "The first child to reach the tree will get the basket."
When he gave them the start signal, he was surprised that they were walking together, holding hands until they reached the tree and shared the fruit!
When he asked them the reason for doing this, especially when every one of them could get the basket only for himself, they answered with astonishment: " Ubuntu, that is, how can one of us be happy while the rest are miserable?"
Ubuntu in their civilization means "I am because we are."
That tribe knows the secret of happiness that has been lost in all societies that transcend them.
Of course, I did not hesitate to accept the offer to speak to a group of teachers, reminding them that we can want M.O.R.E together.
The message I was preparing to share was also a part of my personal development reflections.
I'd already had relevant content to share which included original songs, poems and quotes which directly speak to the life of a teacher.
A few months prior, I had written a few teacher reflection poems like the one below, "Teacher's Tonight":
Why didn’t I realize that the students were anxious?
Was I the one needing to be more conscious?
Did I encourage the students and made them feel content?
Or did I execute some activities to bare each moment?
I didn’t eat lunch today because I put the children first.
Now my stomach bloats as if it would burst.
Did I make enough corrections to the PowerPoint Presentation?
And isn’t there a student who need a commendation?
My computer is dead; I didn’t get a chance to charge my device.
I will recharge right now…less I pay the price.
Nonetheless, it took me a while to find a theme or a catch until I started to play with the word 'more'.
As a health and family life education teacher in the Caribbean, I very well knew that teachers always want more- be it resources and materials or an increase in salary. Wanting more from others can be quite stressful, but could we consider wanting more from ourselves to gain more in life.
We need to go home.
Some of us are home willingly. Others of us were sent home to work online, teach virtually or not work at all.
Either way, going home requires us to sit down and be with ourselves which can be quite uncomfortable, especially if we lack practice.
Going home leaves us with our breath. How is your breathing? Right now, stop to take a deep breath in (your stomach and not your chest should extend), then breathe out.
Inhaling allows us to return to ourselves. It's as if we are saying to ourselves, "I know I'm breathing in," or "I know I'm breathing out."
Mindful breathing commands us to know or be conscious of our breath and be in the present moment.
Although we are accustomed to communicating verbally, talking is not a prerequisite for mindful breathing. Plus, it's no surprise that tensions in our bodies are sometimes hidden under our chatting or texting.
So, why not sit and follow your in breath and your out breath?
The more we do this, is the more we will realize that our minds are often far from our bodies. Keep being conscious of your breath and connecting with yourself.
It's quite freeing that understanding our own sufferings helps us to have compassion on ourselves which translates into how we show compassion to others.
So, may we breathe in and out together- be conscious together.
May we want M.O.R.E!
1. As you might have realized, 'M' stands for mindful breathing. But how can we be mindful without getting rid of some of our passions for pessimism.
2.'O' stands for optimism. Thinking is hard work and so few may want to do it, but changed thinking is an investment. Real estate crash, diamond mines run out, but processing how we thinking is priceless.
3.'R' represents rest and relaxation. The audiences in long online meetings must request sufficient break periods rest the eyes. Moreover, furnitures used at home must promote ergonomics.
4.'E' is for exercise. of course, office exercises can be done to stretch the muscles.
I've cut my presentation short, but you get the gist.
May we want M.O.R.E for each other.