I am deeply grateful to be alive and to experience life. My friend Art posted a story, The Tea Cup (original title: The Potter and the Clay) in hisblog, Zendictive October 26,2012, which beautifully illustrates life. The Tea Cup is a metaphor on how we may not always appreciate the hardships and strife of the moment in our lives. In the process of becoming a beautiful teacup, a lump of clay must be pounded, kneaded, spun around, molded, fired, painted and fired again. Each step made the clay stronger and stronger. As with life, every hardship makes us stronger and stronger.
I fully appreciate the story Art shared on his blog; and, I deeply appreciate my own life. I see how each hurt and hardship I have experienced has made me who I am today! Yes, I didn’t enjoy experiencing the hurts, trials and tribulations, but I knew I could get through them and be a stronger person because of them.
There was a time in my life when I had to take a hard look at my career as a teacher. I was teaching middle school math at the time. Each day I planned amazing lessons, which often were not well received by the students who were coming from poverty and broken homes. I had to be nurturing first, before I could go on with the math lessons. I was also finishing up my doctoral studies.
All that was left to do was edit my doctoral dissertation by adding more current scholarly research to my review of literature on the topic of bullying and cyber-bullying. I soon learned that I had to redo my study, because it didn’t meet the perceived criteria, which meant having to rewrite the protocol, the questions and procedures of the study, ascertain if I still has permission to use human subjects or did I have to go through the human research review board again. My dissertation director of the time told me, “If I were you I would resign my teaching position.”
I was in a quandary. Do I give up my livelihood to finish my dream? After much debate and a heart-to-heart discussion with my principal, I decided to resign my teaching position. Little did I know that soon after I made that decision that we would be in a recession; and, I would not be able to secure another full-time teaching or administrative position. However, after another couple of bumps in the road including a change of dissertation directors, I completed my doctoral program. One of the sweeter sounds I have ever heard was when I was first addressed as Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko. It was music to my ears!
I made the right decision. I am able to do more now with my freedom from any one single school system in order to address bullying and inspire others. I took a mental pounding, I was molded. There are times when I feel I am breathing in the toxic fumes of the glazing paint. And, I know that each of these challenges are strengthening my resolve and giving insights to better help others. Yes, each moment of life we are given is a gift. We can choose how to use our lives. When can choose the easier path, the one that is mediocre and less challenging. I choose to seize each moment, pursue my dreams, count my blessings, love myself and others; furthermore, if I inspire others in the process, then I am twice blessed.
- “The History of the Tea-Cup” By Rev. G.R. Wedgwood (englishtea.us)
- the tea cup (zendictive.wordpress.com)
- INSPIRATION: The Teacup (gianramos.wordpress.com)
- A study conducted on victims of bullying (asktina4advice.com)
- November: A Month of Appreciation (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
- Masterpiece (yourselfhelppro.wordpress.com)
- re:forming in the storm (brokenliturgy.com)
- The teacup (irenealia.wordpress.com)
- Essay on weighing whether to finish a long doctoral program (insidehighered.com)