Intercultural Responsiveness
A Blog By Tom Altepeter

The Lightness of Being

LightnessA new school year is weeks away, and I wonder what’s going through the minds of students, parents, educators. Settling into the groove happens sooner for an administrator, but it doesn’t feel truly real until the building fills up with people. Those final days of summer are spent in either sadness about what one is ending, or happiness about what one is beginning. More than likely, it’s a combination of both.

So much has changed for me personally, and the life I’m walking in, and about to begin, resembles not the life I’ve led in recent or distant past. I think, when I was younger, I didn’t believe life was so fleeting. A series of escapades, sprinkled with the freedom of youthful carelessness, has a way of getting you to believe in immortality. I know better now.

This is it. This is what we’ve got. I appreciate understanding more deeply now the certainty of life and death. It’s not a gloomy feeling; rather, it’s one filled with the knowledge that each moment is special – never to be enjoyed again, never to be suffered again, but never to be removed. I look ahead in joyful hope, but only in as much as it provides me with the opportunity to make the most of the present, and trust in the future. I’ve only got this one to get right.

So much is racing through those young minds who will stampede into the building soon enough. So much promise exists in those adults whose hearts are big enough to change the world. Let’s not limit this. Let’s embrace this. Limiting myself to a false construct has been painful, and I’ve made an important decision to part from that. I know it will not lead to a perfect life, as there is no such thing. However, I do know it will lead to truth, and that is what I hope for in what lies ahead.

I run, with my arms out wide, my lungs breathing in the now, and my eyes wide open toward the horizon.

2 Responses to “The Lightness of Being”

  • Kathy Mayer says:

    So well said, as always. Embrace each day and live it fully! And honestly.

  • I love this post. You capture the excitement, the lightness, the hope, that is the start of the school year.

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