Many afternoons when the children are dismissed from school, I’m in the yard working. I hear the chants and rhymes the children who aren’t on their phones sing as they are released for the day. Soon, they will be singing about no more teachers, no more rules, and looking forward to days at the swimming pool (if it ever stops raining).
A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook, our trusty source of all kinds of information, true and false. It’s a good reminder to all of us that despite the battles we are growing through, we have value in the eyes of our Creator. It’s a great lesson for children. But as adults, we need to be reminded, too. The storms of life wrinkle our perspective and distort our view. Culture may tell us our shape or size is unacceptable, but there is One who looks past the silhouette and examines the intent of the heart.
Credit is given in the post, which I have copied. I cannot verify its accuracy.
Today was bittersweet. My last day of my first year(semester) of teaching ever. My last day with my 4th graders. My last chance to leave an impact on them since unfortunately, I might not ever see them again. In order to hopefully leave an impression on them that would last a lifetime, I went to the bank last night and asked for the most crisp, without flaw, never been folded $100 bill they had. I would be using that $100 bill today in my final lesson of the semester. After our awards ceremony this morning, we returned to my classroom where I delivered my final lesson for this school year.
I took the $100 bill out of my wallet, held it up, and asked the class to tell me what it was. Obviously they knew what it was, who wouldn’t? I then asked them how much it was worth, to which they responded, “$100!” I began to explain how $100 is a lot of money, no matter how rich or poor you are in this world. I then asked them who wanted the $100. 14/14 students raised their hands before I could even finish the sentence.
The next part of my lesson required me to explain how a simple $100 bill can be related to our lives. I explained that this perfect $100 bill is like all of us when we’re born. No flaws, no imperfections, no negative thoughts being thrown at us by others. I had the students pass the $100 bill around and share something mean someone has said or done to them and how it made them feel using the $100 bill as visualization. If it was something minor, they’d fold it maybe once, if it was something more hurtful they’d maybe fold it a couple of times.
At the end, when all students were done sharing, I looked at the $100 bill(now crumpled, folded to what looked to be a million times) and held it up again. I asked my class “How much is it worth now?” They replied, “$100 still”. I asked, “Who wants it?” Again, 14/14 hands flew up. So I asked “Why? It’s all crumpled, folded, and it doesn’t even look like a $100 bill anymore.” I explained to them that no matter what anyone, or this world says about you, your abilities, your worth, your value or your flaws, you’re still worth something. The same as you’ve always been worth.
I ended my final lesson by saying this, “What you say and do to people matters. You may not see it, but I can promise you it matters. No matter how many times this $100 bill was folded or crumpled up, it’s still worth $100. It’ll still spend the exact same as to when it was brand new, with no folds or imperfections. That’s the same with all of you. You’re all still very valuable. My task for you is to find someone around you who doesn’t feel so valuable, pass on this lesson I’ve taught you, and be the difference. Be the difference you wanna see in this world. Be hope to those whose lives are far from easy.”
*By the end of it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.