Did you watch it?

Scroll back up there and watch it. It's not that long. 

One of my teacher friends sent this around the other day and it was like a slap in the face for me (a good one). 

If you are a teacher or a parent, an employer, or a supervisor . . . . or just a student of life . . . think about all the times you've been crushed (or have crushed somebody else) under the weight of the idea of "Now."

Get this done now.

Make your best grades now.

Learn this music now.

Figure out what to do about this problem now.

Respond correctly now.

Please your teachers/parents/spouse/children now.

There is no GROWTH when we are discussing NOW. Growth is future. Growth is ongoing. Growth is not necessarily defined in terms of an end. For a long time I've known this in my heart about children. It's so much harder to know it about myself. Or my music. Or my work.

We have got to move - to shift - our way of thinking.

We are obsessed with deadlines. 

We are an instant gratification society.

But people have known for centuries that this idea of instant success is ridiculous. It is unreasonable to expect that any human being will adhere to a strict timeline in terms of achievement. It's unreasonable because stuff happens in life. We can't plan for it. We can't predict it, and there is no book that can tell us how we'll respond. There's a season for everything.

Grow, grow, grow.

Today I asked my students (several different grade levels) if they'd ever heard anybody use the word "yet" in a sentence.

They said things like, "Not yet." and "Are we there yet?"

"Yet" has the promise of something that is to be - something that will come or will happen. It has no finality.

Report cards suggest finality.

Sometimes the things we say to our students and children suggest finality. 

Sometimes the things we say to ourselves suggest finality.

I was talking to a classroom full of fifth graders about the fact that our previous lesson had been a bit rough. It's understandable - they're learning how to be almost teenagers. There's a lot of social shifting going on with them. They'd just had a great rehearsal for a choir festival, lots of good discussion about some new things on their "expressive terminology" list . . . and then somebody said, "Mrs. T., are you still mad at us?"

Are you still mad at us? . . . 

If I hadn't just watched the video about "the power of yet" I wouldn't have known what to say that could really satisfy that question.

"I am not angry at you. And I wasn't angry at you three days ago. I was frustrated because I believed you had better choices in front of you . . . and yet you didn't take any of them. Today you made a lot of really good progress on your stuff for the choral festival. You were ridiculously awesome with all of the vocabulary I threw at you. You were considerate of each other while we played your favorite game. You had a different kind of day today. You'll have a different day in three days when I see you again. And I still won't be mad at you if it doesn't go well . . . let me tell you something about the power of the word 'yet.' . . . "

What it boils down to is this, which I plan to plaster all over my classroom and above the two doors leading in: "When I look at you, I see 'yet' - You look like everything that will be important in 20 years. You look like leaders and teachers and doctors, and people who will have lives full of achievements and mistakes. And 'yet' is important, folks, because it doesn't have a deadline. It's not written in black ink like grades on a report card. Your whole life is 'yet' - and when I look at you all, that's what I see. You are full of possibility. I'm proud of you for things you haven't even done yet. And that's bigger than one rough music class."

Our world is full of gray . . . all of us, all mixed up. And also black and white - people who only feel that they can see any situation one way. One way, one time. A deadline mentality.

I want my students armed with the knowledge that they are "yet."

I want them to leave my room one day knowing that they are growing, changing, and progressing all the time.

And I want them to walk back into my room for their next lesson still knowing it.

You, reader, are also "yet."

You were created by One who knew that you would succeed and fail. And the One who created you is "slow to anger and full of compassion."

There will always be this blessing set before you: Yet.