True principle: Giving from the heart is what creates peace.
Today I taught a class for teenagers in our area. Our class is called “Emotional Bank Account,” and we talk about tools we can use to help us be emotionally strong and healthy. It has been a fun class to teach, and the students are awesome.
We now meet online, because we can’t meet in person due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The class topic of emotional health has become “alive” in the minds of the teenagers now, because they can see how important their emotions are, and they want to know how to help themselves in this time of upheaval and uncertainty. They can see that emotions do make a difference.
We watched a video today -- a segment that the news show “60 Minutes” did about Sir Nicholas Winton several years ago. Nicholas Winton was an ordinary person, until he made a decision. He went on a skiing vacation to Czechoslovakia shortly before WWII began, and realized that Germany was “eliminating” Jews. Nicholas had no expertise in what to do, but he knew that he had to do something. And he did. He was responsible for getting almost 700 Jewish children out of Czechoslovakia to safety in England. Yet no one knew this story for years and years, and he did not talk about it.
Why could he do this? He simply did his best, because his heart told him that it was important. Yes, there was certainly fear. But he took action because his heart told him it was the right thing to do. The video is incredibly moving, and you can watch it here.
One of my students, Evelyn Casperson, wrote the following short essay -- her reflections of what a hero means to her. I love this essay, and to me, it represents the hope of the future. Our young people growing up right now are capable, ready, and willing to do great things for the right reasons. We are in good hands.
I have many heroes in my life. To narrow it down to one or two would be nearly impossible. However, the thing that stands out most heroic to me in a person is they’re willing to help others, knowing that they might never get anything in return. Not only that, but they’re willing to sacrifice everything for someone who may or may not deserve it.
I doubt I could ever be brave enough to be a true hero and make that sacrifice. I can only hope I am worthy of the amazing heroes I have in my life. Though they deserve much more, in the eyes of a true hero, a good deed is a reward itself. That is the belief that makes heroes heroes.
--------Evelyn Casperson, 2020.