Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 72 of Your Year to Wellness; If I could

Another amazing picture from Ashley Lee
     What Would You Change?

When I was a kid still in elementary school a teacher asked our class a wonderful question; “If you could wave a magic wand and change anything what would it be?”

I think my answer surprised him. Mr. Wright was trying to get us to look at the world and our place in it. He wanted us to find ways to change things and he truly wanted us to think. More than anything else, I believe that the purpose of a teacher is to ignite a passion for learning. This question helped me do just that.

I thought hard about my answer. I could already hear my classmates yelling things like,” I’d be rich,” or “I’d have a fly car.” Someone said that they would make it so that their mother didn’t have to work and Mr. Wright kept saying “Remember, you can change anything.” And then he added, “In the whole wide world.”

I thought hard and then suddenly as if it had been whispered in my ear, my answer came to me. I raised my hand and in the midst of the shouting of answers, Mr. Wright called on me, “Miss Berry.” (Only just now did it occur to me that he called us Mr. and Miss when we acted like adults but by our first name if we acted like children; wow.)

I cleared my throat and revealed my desire. I told Mr. Wright and the class that I would get rid of better and worse. When I said nothing else, Mr. Wright walked over to my desk and stood there for a moment. “Miss Berry, would you care to tell us why.” He was smiling and a smile from Mr. Wright always meant that you did something right---you knew it was coming.

Encouraged by the smile I opened up and talked about how a world without the concept of better or worse would be left with, things just being as they were.

 “It is what it is.” Mr. Wright smiled and said. I didn’t quite understand the “is” thing but he was smiling so I did too. “Nobody would be ugly, or poor or stupid because nobody would get to be better or worse than anyone else.” I added

Mr. Wright was still smiling and then he said something that made us all smile, “Miss Berry’s answer gets you all early recess.”

Everyone jumped up screaming and ran for the door. Above the sounds of delight, I could hear Mr. Wright saying “Good job Miss Berry.”

As soon as we got outside a boy from my class ran into me seeking to burst my little bubble. “You think you’re better than everybody else don’t you?” He didn’t really want an answer and he didn’t wait for one. “You think you so smart.” He said. I wanted to tell him that he meant you’re instead of you but that would not have been good so I told him that we were all smart. He yelled at me saying that I was a teacher’s pet.

I wanted to ask if he even heard my answer but I just stood there and took the yelling like I deserved it for showing off.

 We want someone to be better or worse so we can justify our own need to be better or worse.

What would happen if we got up each day seeking to be better than the day before?

What is we didn’t compare ourselves to anyone else and competed only with the highest version of our own self.

If you could change anything in the world what would it be?

This is day 72 and I’d like to thank you all for helping me make my wish come true.

Keep on keeping on.

Be you, be well, be the highest version of yourself.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

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