Manifesto: Onward & Upward

“Look up, not down- Look out, not in- Look forward, not backward-
and lend a hand.”
~Teddy Roosevelt

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” -1 John 4:18

Which are you going to live by- control, top-down, authoritarian, law, secrecy, hierarchy, defensive, restrictive, reactive, critical, directive, etc.?

Or… community, bottom-up, open, progressive, egalitarian, transparent, proactive, positive, collaborative, inductive, supportive, encouraging?

I am tired of living with anxiety about disapproval. As a Christian, I want to live by Luther’s suggestion to “sin boldly.”

As an American I have an aversion to tyranny, but it’s not a selfish freedom from accountability and balance that I seek. I want a liberty that’s tempered by responsibility to others. The three-legged stool of democracy needs equality & justice too.

As an educator, I want to trust my students to Lenard and grow and fail. I want my classroom to be a safe place to take risks.

Hope must be vulnerable. Faith is not security. Love is not static, nor is it comfortable.

I will offend and threaten. I will make mistakes. I will be wrong.

But perseverance, tenacity, & resilience, indeed, character & faith, hope only develop through challenge.

Accuse me of reductionism or relativism if you want, but I choose joy over indignation, connection over control, humility over humiliation, hope over cynicism, pragmatism over pessimism, and above all love over fear.

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” -FDR

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

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