So throughout my senior year in the two weeks of its official existence I have seen one common theme in various areas of my life. After an hour of thought and three cups of Kidd Coffee I have decided to make this theme the motto of my senior year! What is it, you ask? I’ll explain in a second, but for now just listen in on the series of events that led to me to form what attitude I want to have throughout my last year at Mason High School.
The first occurrence of this idea came up while I was stalking my friend on Instagram. @hannahgeiger_, you are very entertaining to creep on; keep up the good work! Whenever I look at someone’s Instagram account, I typically see their bio as being one of three things: MHS class of [insert graduation year here], strange lyrics to an extremely overplayed song, or an unending list of things they are involved in and somehow randomly throwing in the word “wanderlust” even though the only place they’ve been is Florida and to Indiana to visit their extended family on Thanksgiving. But, my savvy and jazzy pal Hannah’s bio was a brief but powerful metaphor that I had never heard before!
“Plant seeds in a garden you’ll never get to see.”
After thinking about that for a few minutes, I really liked that quote. It sounds cheesy, but think about it. An Olympic athlete works all their life to win the gold medal. Although this is an amazing accomplishment that I could never achieve and have a lot of respect for the people who do, you have to wonder if the day after they win gold they think “okay… well now what?” Seriously, they train for hours and hours every day of their life then its all over in a heartbeat. In contrast, I want to leave an impact that lasts and grows. I immediately thought “OKAY that sounds like a great motto for senior year!! MHS is my garden and my seeds are…” I couldn’t seem to fill in the blank. That is an issue. How can I grow a garden if I have no idea where my seeds are. *hint* you can’t. So it was back to the drawing board.
Every Monday morning my alarm goes off at 5am. That is extremely early. In fact, it is SO incredibly early that even waking up to a symphony of harps playing quietly on my phone startles me awake to the point where I have to sit there looking at the wall to process that I am okay. Why do I wake up far earlier than the crack of dawn every Monday? To sit in a circle of chairs in Ryan Mecum’s living room to talk about God. Even stranger– after I recuperate from waking up, I am happy I get to be in a room full of people at 6am reading the bible. If you think that’s weird, you may be right. But I wouldn’t trade that for another hour of sleep any day.
Today we talked about a few verses in the Book of James. James… is wild. The context is as follows: while a bunch of Christians are getting killed in his town after the death of his brother Jesus, he is the leader and he writes this letter to every towns-person while they are fleeing the city in attempt not to be stoned to death. This letter is what we now call the Book of James. It seems all dark and twisty, and I guess it is in a sense, but man oh man does James have some quality things to tell us.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
This verse is not anything too complex, and I think that is because James thought we should understand it straight up, plain and simple. He is giving us three things to do so we can live more like Jesus: be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well at schools like Mason, that might not always be the case.
Be Quick to Listen
This is something that I think we all think we do, but aren’t doing to the full potential. Just listen to people. Be someone they can go to just for someone to listen. That’s all people need sometimes: open ears. Don’t relate it back to your life, don’t act like you’ve been there and loosely relate it to something that’s happened to you. Listen, and be there for everyone. No matter who is talking, whether it is the person who sits next to you in Chemistry who has been a little quiet lately, or someone who you know extremely well, be there with open ears ready to listen.
Be Slow To Speak
Mason High School is the largest school in Ohio. It is normal in a school of 5,000 people to feel like you aren’t heard. So, I encourage you to speak your mind. But, be mindful of what you are speaking. Don’t blurt out negativity in moments where frustration runs wild, and do not speak negative things that conform to the negativity that may be around you. Speak loving, positive things. Make your mark by speaking things that matter. Don’t waste your voice on negative words. This adds on to being quick to listen; listen to others without feeling like you need to be speaking at all times. They all go hand in hand.
Be Slow To Anger
It’s high school- it will be a bit frustrating and overwhelming at times. But, don’t let that phase you… it’s high school!! Being angry about little things won’t make what could be the best four years of your life any more fulfilled. But I can tell you what can– being happy.
I needed seeds to grow my garden that I may never see. I realized this morning that those are my seeds. Those are the three things I can do to create a lasting effect on those around me, and my school. As I venture to make Mason High School better every day than it was the day before, I welcome you to join me in making these three ideas the basis of how you treat the 2016-2017 school year.
We have the power to make this school not only the greatest in size, but just the greatest. Join me.