Weathering Today's Storms with our Life-Value

I’m going to combine the above reference to week 19 of Dear Teachers and my Verbostratis blog essay for this week, Personal and Public Ikigai in the United States, because they dovetail.

As I’ve stated before, January’s Dear Teachers essays revolve around “time”, especially “now”. Where I live, we’re expecting some winter storms over the next 48 hours, so the theme is fitting. In Marlene’s photo, her capture of the beautiful colors and textures of a summer storm rushing in reminded me that life is like that: wild stuff rolls in. We all have storms and it feels like they do so when we’re knee-deep in our “stuff”. Can we make it through them? Most likely, yes, if we have firm roots. The ways to form those roots are what I wrote about in the September-December essays.

Our roots can also be described as our ikigai- our life-value. If we’re living in our passion and in a mission, AND if we’re within a culture that allows us to do that sustainably as a profession and as a vocation, we have made it to our ikigai. We are living a life we value AND that others value. We need both.

Most of us have parts of this picture right now. In other words, we have roots, but they could be made substantially stronger. Life’s storms, whatever we decide they are, will more than likely do some damage to us in our present states.

I made a connection this week over this essay with an educator in Seoul named Matthew Boomhower, whose own special interest is global education. In his blog, he writes of his philosophy: 

“The more time I spend in the classroom, the more I come to see education as an experience in which the line between the teacher and student blurs in a community of learning.” 

In Week 19, I wrote that we can ride out the storms of life better if we do so together. All of us (all adults and children, everywhere) can reach our ikigai by doing things more in community. How we could do that is a whole other huge discussion. (Can I add here how stoked I am to combine Japanese, American and Korean references in a single essay?)

I send you sincere wishes for success in your coming week. What are your storms? What are your roots? Comment below or go tell both to a friend. Ask them of theirs. The more connections we find, the better off we’ll all be.


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