I live only a few blocks away from our local high school (Go Lions!). Since it’s September and school started a few weeks ago, I get to enjoy hearing the band play before the sun comes up.
It’s fascinating to think of the hard work those kids are doing. Many of them get up by themselves before their peers and parents, commute to class, and then start their day with manual labor. They’re marching around outside with heavy equipment before we’ve finished our first cups of coffee.
I am capital c Cranky without my caffeine. My husband is an early riser and also a very heavy sleeper. Every morning, his alarm goes off before mine, and I immediately hear it, and then have to rouse him to get him up.
“She hits me in my sleep.”
That’s true, but I’m not mean about it.
My better half is an excellent caregiver. He lets me stay in bed and delivers liquid energy to me while I’m still snuggled. He even goes so far as to put exactly the right amount of ice cubes in it so I can drink it immediately, yet it’s still hot. And after I’ve had about half of it, he refreshes my cup.
This is our routine nearly every morning. We don’t often say much to each other beyond “Good morning”. Instead, we sit in peace and enjoy the quiet environment before the toddlers wake up. I usually read the news or my Bible devotional… in silence.
On these September mornings, it’s the sound of music that fills the air. The band is too far away for me to hear the clarinets or flutes and their melodic tones, but I can hear the brass and bass drums: the driving forces. It’s a cadence that meshes with the caffeine to motivate me to begin the day.
I have friends who get up super early to go workout at the park, but I personally think they’re insane. It seems like the majority of my peers are not stirring until after 7 am. By then, the band members are already sweating. By 8, they’re done, and some adults haven’t made it to work yet. These kids are amazing. They probably do it without coffee.
The teachers are especially phenomenal specimens. They are up even before the students and prepared to instruct by the time the students get there. My hat goes off to them. They deserve a medal.
My band teacher had a motto: If you’re on time, you’re late, and if you’re early, you’re on time. And when we started practice, she did not wait on anyone. If you didn’t have your stuff together, you found yourself walking out to the practice field by yourself, instead of with your group. It was a walk of shame!
I’m thankful that these teachers are sharing valuable life lessons with students. I appreciate them teaching another generation the importance of getting up early and getting to the hard work. And I salute the students who get up and DO that hard work, setting the example to their peers. I acknowledge their intensity and tenacity. I pray it blooms in their lives.
Younger generations are often criticized for their laziness, ignorance, or lack of motivation.
I’d love to see a change in narrative.
In my own little corner of the world, I’m going to exercise positivity. I envision a community of people who see the best in each other.
I’m not just talking about high school students. I’m talking about your neighbors. I’m talking about the people you see on the job. It’s easy to look at our close friends and see their good qualities and enjoy their company. But what about the people who are different from us? What about people who go to different places of worship, or enjoy different hobbies? Or what about people who *gasp* vote differently than you?
I am inclined to find common ground, even if I have to look hard for it. And instead of complaining, I’m going to choose celebration.
I choose not to be grouchy about being woken up early by loud noises; I choose to honor the teachers and students for their hard work and awesome talents. You are free to choose where to apply your focus.
Every human being is valuable. Join me in deliberately overlooking flaws and searching for a positive characteristic in everyone we encounter.
Let’s spread love.