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Be The Best
Tuesday, June 6, 2023 by Brave Knight Writers

“If that’s what you’re going to do, be good at it.” These parting words from my father as I left for U.S. Air Force basic training have stayed with me all these years. Forty-four years ago today, I graduated from High School. I was unable to think of a better way to feed myself, so I enlisted soon after.

I have learned along the way that it’s important to work smart as well as work hard. I was ‘too soon old, too late smart’ in that department. My mission is helping high schoolers see a brighter future, and to not settle for less.

I was not a stellar student, and I did not enjoy the social scene during school. I loved to be outdoors, so I spent much of my school time daydreaming of being outside. I told the recruiter I wanted to work outside, and with my hands. I had done a lot of that while growing up. I got what I asked for, becoming a crew chief on F-16s. After my 8 plus years of U. S. Air Force duty, I worked other outside jobs, such as letter carrier for the U.S. Post Office.

My husband encouraged me to think creatively, to go to college and earn a degree so I would have more time off to be outside. Specifically, he said I should be a teacher and gain summers off. Ironic, for someone who never liked school. To add to the irony, I went on to earn two master's degrees. A bonus to being a teacher has been having our grandchildren come with me to work (I teach high schoolers how to work with preschoolers). When I see students not trying, it saddens me, because I know first-hand a missed step leaves scars to last a lifetime. With effort one can overcome mistakes, but it takes more effort than making wise choices from the start.  

Striving to be the best teacher is not for sissies. Every minute of every day, a teacher is on the front lines, and must do their best to calmly respond to students and their various needs. It is exhausting.  Like parenting, it is the toughest job you will ever love.

Being the Best is a process, a never-quite-achieved goal, but even when we fall a little short, the rewards and blessing compound. Take this blog, for example. It may not be the best you have ever read, but I am giving it my best right now. Our entire approach to life has become to inspire others to live life to its fullest, not to sell short. God gifted each person with so much that we can use to make our little corner of the world just a little bit better. Lauren Daigle’s new song, “Thank God I Do” reminds us to appreciate God’s gifts, especially the gift of those who inspire us.

There are so many aspects of our lives in which to practice being the best: In thoughtfulness—caring, giving, responding. In achievement—best use of time and money, saving, investing, giving.

In creating—a peaceful atmosphere, a gift, a work of art.

Be the Best today, it is worth the effort.

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