Tag Archives: Character

…003 – who’s your standard?…

As you look into your own heart & character, what do you hold as your standard?  Do you look around to those you respect?  Or to those you are simply aware of?  Or do you look to something greater than yourself?

At chapel this past week I shared on the passage from Luke 6 where Jesus uses the analogy of a tree being known by its fruit – that a good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit.  Although analogies cannot be used to generate a 100% of the time policy or expectation, they do speak to the general case.  It is commonly accepted that Jesus is drawing parallels between the tree and one’s heart, and the fruit and one’s words & behaviours.  The conclusion of the text offers the following words that need little explanation:

out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks

Download the audio from this chapel for your computer or mobile device, or listen below.

Each one of us must decide who we want to become.  It has been said that we will hit what we aim for.  So, I simply ask the questions, ‘What are you aiming for?  What is your standard?”

Do you look around to see others…to compare your own actions relative to what other people hold as true?  Or do you hold to something greater?  Do you have an example to model yourself after?

Teenagers, like each one of us, are in such a tough situation with these questions.  They experience the ups and downs of friendships and peer-pressure and identity and purpose.  They can be ostracized for their beliefs when they may contradict the accepted norm.  Yet, to be true to themselves they must remain congruent.  A teacher on our staff often says, “when you hang out with fish, you smell like fish.”  So true – we all have such power to influence those around us.

Another colleague often referred to GIGO: garbage in – garbage out.  We must be disciplined & diligent regarding what we choose to put into our minds & body.  This is a great statement on the key verse of this post, out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, because it reminds us that our heart is key to our attitude and actions.

Like this picture helps me see, it is below the surface that produces the results.

So, how do we train our hearts?  The Bible is clear that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), and that we are to look to Jesus as our example (Philippians 2).  We must start with the right input before we can expect the right output.

So, who is your standard?  In your heart, what is driving your motivations and behaviours?


…begin with the end in mind…

Tonight I had the utmost pleasure of celebrating my mother. Tonight, with my father, sister, and brother, along with many other colleagues, we celebrated my mother’s career as a nurse.

The evening was nice – nice stories and speeches, a long, drawn-out skit with little relevance to both nurses retiring, and roast beef buffet.

My eduglean moment for this evening took place around the dessert table as the skit was still going on. I asked a lady how she knew this crowd. She replied that she was a nurse and that she loved my mother. I thanked her graciously and smiled. She added that she was sad to see my mom retire because the lady would miss her as a nurse to look up to.

I asked the nurse to clarify and this is what she said, “I’m a young nurse and I need these older mentor nurses to look up to.”
“Do you consider my mother a mentor nurse? Why’s that?” I asked.
“Oh yes, she is one of the good ones who are still left.”

Now my eduglean hat went on.

“So, as a young nurse, can you tell which ones are the good ones and which ones you wish would retire as soon as possible?”
“Yes, for sure, it’s usually pretty easy to see.”
I dug a bit deeper, “So what is it? What skill, or characteristic, or something separates the good ones from the bad ones? How do you tell?

She smiled and looked at me with eyes as confident and peaceful as ever, “Patience, understanding, and their gracious, humble character – that’s what makes the good ones. That’s why I’m going to miss your mom.”

I was floored – my eduglean was racing. I managed to smile politely and try to look like I was really listening to her. Maybe It’s all the Covey lately, or maybe it’s just all the great dialogue happening in my PLN right now about teaching, learning, and professional networking, but I was actually thinking:

Is it possible that these descriptive words extend from the realm of nursing to the world of teaching?

This nurse needs to be proactive in finding a new set of mentors, and

Given Covey’s Habit 2, Begin With The End in Mind – to hear this young nurse describe these qualities in a master nurse, I want to begin highlighting these characteristics in my own personal and professional life

It made me so proud to hear this young nurse speak of my mother this way. It is uncannilly similar to how I hear fellow teachers speak of my father. I hope to be even in the same ballpark when it comes to being compared to my parents. I have years and years and years of character to build.

Today, I’m starting with Habit 2 and the characteristics of a master nurse.