vrijdag 18 maart 2011
Uhm, seems that I have not been out here for quite some time! But I just had some things going on out there. The highlight of my past week was last Tuesday. For the last month I had been a kind of anxious about this because I got to meet up with my big boss. On top of that I had kind of voluntereed to speak up my mind when he was in the same room with me. For weeks I had been thinking of what I wanted to tell him and my audience.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I met the notorious and very controversial archbishop Léonard. Yes, he is my big chief. Because on top of teaching general subjects I am a religion teacher and this means that I have two different contracts. On one there is this impressive stamp of the bishop to justify my ability to teach the subject religion.
And yes, ladies and gentlemen, DO I LOVE TEACHING THAT SUBJECT!!! I truly do. It is hard to explain to others why! Not that I have not tried but in many cases people will give me strange looks when I tell them that I teach this. Even more then ever with my new boss and in less faithfull days! But after 13 years I do think that this subject still saves me while being out there. It is there that I find many ingredients that I need to get through a difficult day or period.
It is like extra oxygen I suddenly get to breath in. Not that every lesson is a very big hit and in most cases it will take me by surprise. Yes, I still believe and have got faith. There have been enough moments in my life that I do question if I do and that there is something or someone out there. Yes, what is going on out there in Japan fills me up with fear and compassion. Yes, even when I turn on the light I wonder how long I will be able to do this so easily. Yes, I feel kind of helpless when I see the images they spit out on TV, the newspaper and even on Twitter. Yes, it touches my heart and makes me feel rather small and humble.
Today my inspiring Juniors asked about Japan and their faith! These are special ed kids and you might sometimes be suprised what they have picked up out there. When I told them about the people that are out there trying to prevent this threatening melt down who are kind of sacrificing their lives I had 100% their attention. 'Why do they such a thing? What do they believe in? Is it Buddha or something else who makes them do this? Do they believe in something different then we do who makes them do this?' Etc.
Last Tuesday I did try to explain to 'Monseigneur Léonard' what goes on in my mind and stomach when I teach out there the subject religion. And yes, I had my audience on my hand. It is very exciting sensation when you do. I have seen many faces out there who were very concentrated while listening. In a way they reminded me of my pupils when I do have their attention and they seem to hang on my lips. Including that one guy I only had met up with in the press and on TV.
Many had questioned me why I even wanted to do this. Why I was even going to try to make some statements about something that this person so differently thinks about then most 'modern' human beings? I had to deal in most cases with some less nice comments or was told that this person is not even worth the attention. Uhm, well I had/have got my own very personal reasons! So I went three days in seclusion in order to write that one 'special' speech. The reasons that made me do this I can not write down here, they sit very deep in a place where not many people are granted access to. It is my personal drive and my very personal life story that made me type away and search for the most fitting words to knock down on paper.
I am not a perfect human being and I have got my moments that my faith goes down the tubes! On top of that I do think that you can never force a certain faith on someone. It does not work for me. When I had the age of my pupils I was somewhere in between. I was then about to challenge and question many things and persons. On top of that I do think that it is not a process that has a very clear beginning & end. Yes, I do tell my pupils very personal things about my life during religion lessons. For 100 minutes a week I grant them access into my inner sanctum.
But still, just like my very concentrated audience I met up with last Tuesday they do not know everything about me. Because yes, in the last ten years I do had some moments that I was tempted to hand in my resignation for teaching that 'holy' subject. Why? Well, that is very personal and can I not just spit out here. It would be taken out of the context, a very meaningful context.
When I got back at work that day many asked me:'Stallie, how was it?'. They were especially wondering what Léonard was like. I do not think that the archbishop is going to change because of what we think and say about him. I did not go in there with that mission. I just wanted to make sure that my boss knows what goes on my head when I teach and try to let the younger generation travel along.
Tuesday I faced my boss who seems to be a very 'wise' (and read wise in this case as a person who happens to be very learned and has got some very impressive credentials to get him where he is now!) but not (this is my very personal opinion) a 'street-wise' person. Last Tuesday I did not meet up with a person who I think has got all the answers and the ultimate divine power to grant me access to heaven. He did not change my point of view on many things I believe in or my personal faith. I do not agree on many things with him or on how Rome seems to deal with certain situations that have taken place out there. Nope! None of that!
After that speech I am still the same person. But yes, it was nice that my big boss gave me a meaning full handshake, five pats on my shoulder and said:'Thank you for your personal testimony.' And that was exactly what I had been doing in there. For the rest of the day I was over on cloud #9 but with in the evening an emotional&fysical meltdown! Speech side-effects, they still get on to me! But I am very aware of that belief and faith are so fragile.
Japan found out last week that the earth is also very fragile and that ground on which we are walk on is so unpredictable. On top of that also in this disastrous situation they also then find out how their bosses deal with things. Do they all agree with how their higher authorities seem to try to tackle this disaster? It seems no! And so I guess that most of us do work for a boss with whom we not always agree with. Is our boss our best friend? Do I therefor love my job less or do I use my talents less wisely and am I not prepared to make some personal sacrifices? NOPE! And so you can be sure that those Japanese workers out there are at that dangerous hot NPP also have got their own very personal reasons for going the distance! So yes, I will be praying tonight before I turn of the light!!!
P.S.: I do think that we are a generation that is dissapointed in many things. For sure the Church and many politicians. I do still go wild on this song. Also I use lots of music and images when I teach the subject religion. This song is one of my personal favorites. And that Myléne Farmer dances away on a cross I do think is very fitting image to go along with this entry. Because yes, I am still dancing away while searching for many things out there!