Updated: Jun 6, 2020
A Message from a tree
I was so happy that fine May day in 2013 when I walked across the stage at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte when they called my name. I lifted my head, tightened my stomach and strolled across that stage to receive my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. I was so ready to begin the next phase of my educational career as a school administrator. My first job as an assistant principal was at Hickory High School, in Hickory, NC. I was one of three assistant principals given the opportunity to serve. One of my many AP duties included morning duty in the parking lot area closest to the gymnasium. I was responsible for making sure that when students, particularly car drivers and walkers, arrived to campus that they did not leave to go to the grocery store across the street. The school day at Hickory High started at 7:35 a.m. That was quite early; however, it was a pleasure to serve knowing that God had given me the grace to drive an hour from Shelby, NC to Hickory daily. My daily routine included waking at 5 a.m, showering, getting dressed, kissing the wife, grabbing some breakfast and hitting the road by 6 a.m. so I could be in my duty spot by 7:05. One crisp fall morning I arrived on campus, unloaded my belongings in my office and headed to my morning duty spot. As I approached my duty spot I beheld the most amazing sunrise that I've ever seen. As I marveled at the rising sun, I noticed the tree that you see. It was as if God himself was attempting to get my attention. The beauty of that morning screamed my name and snatched my attention. As I gaze at the tree, the following phrase began to resound and repeat in my mind... "If a tree which has no feelings and no soul has sense enough to know when to change, why don't we?" That question penetrated my heart and catalyzed intense moments of reflection! All week long I had been dealing with students who were getting sent to ISS and being suspended for the same offenses over and over. I then realized that they were going to ISS and being suspended over and over because I continued to deal with them the same way over and over. I was challenged to take my focus off of them and look into the internal mirror of my soul and evaluate my own actions. The change in me influenced them!
Consider this. We are in the midst of a two crises: the corona virus and the virus of inequity and inequality. News Outlets, social media, radio shows along with inter and intrapersonal commentary and dialogue have many of us pointing the finger at others. As I gaze at our troubled world I ask... "If a tree which has no feelings and no soul has sense enough to know when to change, why don't we?"