Sometimes we are spared from our own ignorance.
When I first taught in China I was assigned a class called Selected Reading. To keep me on my toes, there was no textbook and in the pre-internet era I had to find short stories in our small English library and weekly make copies; cutting and taping and learning the difference between what fit on paper that was sized A-4 (bigger) or B-5. It was fun, yes, but also exhausting for this non-English major who doesn’t really enjoy short stories.
(Hey, we can’t all like everything.)
In the spring I decided to choose a Newberry awarding winning book as my “selected reading” and chose The Giver.
If you just gasped recalling WHERE I was teaching and WHEN I was teaching and WHO I was teaching and WHAT the themes of the book are, you are ahead of the game. Unfortunately I didn’t connect the dots until several weeks into teaching it. I longed to teach something of content that built on itself and lead to deeper conversations, not push buttons. Buttons I didn’t know a hoot about at that time. (Here’s a summary of the book)
Amy, do you think this book is anything like here?
Oh. My. Word.
The memories flooded last week as I watched the recently released movie The Giver based on the book by Lois Lowry. I recommend it (and truthfully cannot figure out why it’s rated PG-13).
The Giver refers to a person whose job it is to keep all of the memories for their community and when the next “Receiver” is chosen, the Giver shares things like color, emotions, even sledding. Ultimately the Receiver uses the memories to help the leaders as they make decisions.
Why would an entire community be wiling choose sameness?
The leader of the community explained, “When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.”
To protect from people choosing wrong, the community was willing to forgo all that is good and fun and right. It made me appreciate afresh the risk God take by trusting us with choice. And for trust to truly require trust, it must have risk. If you know the outcome, if there is no choice, it’s not trust.
Those students I taught are now in their late 30s and 40s. Much has changed in the ensuing years. I wonder how many of them will see The Giver title in DVD stores or on-line movie places. I wonder if they will remember the English class and reading a book that we probably had no business touching. But when trust is present, all kinds of foolish and naive mistakes of an earnest foreign teacher can be overlooked.
Trust is risky. The Giver gave back to me afresh last week, and I am grateful.
When have you been spared from your own ignorance? Have you read the Giver? Did you like it?
Here is the preview:
Here’s the deal for the link-up:
- Every third Tuesday I’ll host a link up. Trust + Tuesday + Third = three T’s and I don’t have to mark my calendar with different dates! Just remember TTT. The next one will be on September 16th and you can get more details here. The link up will be open for one week, after one week, you’ll need to wait until the next month.
- Please link back the link-up, either by using the Trusting Tuesday picture or simply a text link.
- I’ve also started a Pinterest Oneword365 board and want it to be a community board (meaning let’s have our Oneword365 posts all in one place!). Check it out!
- If you miss a month, don’t beat yourself up. This will go on for the next twelve months and isn’t meant to overload you or make you feel guilty. We’re going to be a group of cheerleaders.