Friday, March 8, 2013

267/365: Where Courage Comes From

Today I made:
meaning with kids...

Today, in a guided reading group with second graders, we were talking about a character who  felt "discouraged" and "disheartened" when faced with a great challenge. We all connected with the young man, sharing times in our lives when we lacked hope and confidence, when our courage was shaken. 

"I know how he's feeling. He should keep trying. It will get easier. That's what happened to me," explained a little girl, speaking from experience. 

"He shouldn't give up!" the kids agreed. 
"He should purpose-sphere!" a little boy added.

"Persevere," I smiled and corrected gently. "Yes! What a big idea! Where do you think the courage to persevere comes from?" 

After a long silence (oh how I wish I could peak into their little minds to see how they work these things out), one little girl spoke up. 
"You have to find it inside you. Courage comes from the inside." 

Ah yes, leave it to eight year-olds to tell it how it is. And here I was searching for my courage in books and under pretty colored rocks. I suppose if I'm patient and keep at it, my courage to keep on keepin' on will grow. 

This quote, by John Quincy Adams, is very fitting for today: "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."

Courage, patience, perseverance- these are the themes of my life right now, and the stuff of children's books, of myths and fables. My students, those wise little souls, understand common themes across stories, and they're teaching me that these themes run through all our lives, on and off the canvas. 

We are the creative heroes of our own lives.
We must find the courage to "purpose-sphere."

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