I love the old testament adage to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.” As someone who used to be a teacher and still consults with international schools, I work hard to model these tenets when I interact with students.
For the most part I work with teachers and students who languish in countries riddled with poverty and corruption. The kids walk to school alongside streets that reek of hopelessness and despair.
I meet local teachers who get paid on average $4 to $6 per day to work at international schools alongside foreign-born teachers who make more than $200 per day for doing the exact same job — and yet the local teachers are gracious and appreciative for anything I can do to help them.
It’s usually that way with the foreign teachers as well.
However, in recent weeks I’ve had occasion to butt heads with a foreign born teacher who has pretty much declared war on her students, colleagues, and administrators. I can’t find any rational reason for her behavior.
And now, she’s apparently declared war on me as well.
Everything I’ve done here has been to help kids. But I’m just passing through. I could let it go easy enough. I probably should let it go.
But the kids, right?
Here’s the thing: most people like the “love mercy” and “walk humbly” but shy away from “do justice.”
I don’t think it’s something you can pick and choose. I think you have to go all in, or find a new mantra. For sure I don’t want to live in a world where people with twisted hearts hold profound influence over our students while good people stand aside and do nothing.
Which is why tonight I read some from The Art of War —
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt … Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
— and why tomorrow I will return the favor, and “do justice.”