It is difficult to imagine something of which you have no experience.
I was reflecting on my parents the other day. My father’s schooling ended at primary school and my mother’s in early high school. By the time it was my turn to go to school my family had immigrated to Australia. Both my parents, but especially my father, stressed the importance of doing well at school. Bringing home a report card was, for me at least, never a pleasant experience. In my father’s opinion I could always have done better.
However there was a breakthrough when I was in form three (year 9). My average had gone down from the term before and I was very apprehensive but dad wasn’t angry. I asked him why. And he replied that he had seen me work solidly all term and if that was the best I could do then he was happy with that.
It was in the next year that formal external assessment began. In years 10 through 12 we had to sit external exams at the end of each year. My parents couldn’t help me. They were not only migrants but this was beyond their experience. Yet still I was encouraged to do my best. I got through to Form 6 (Year 12) and then applied for and was accepted into university. This was lightyears away from anything my parents had ever experienced. No one in the immediate family had ever gone this far. In all this they continued to encourage me.
Looking back, this encouragement was extremely important because it was all new to me too. But I am so grateful that even though this type of education was beyond my parents’ imagination it didn’t stifle them as they pushed me beyond their own experience. It is a lesson I think we can all learn from, that is, to have the courage to hope and strive for objectives we can hardly imagine. This can be true in our daily life and spiritual life, in our homes and work.
What do you dream for your children, grandchildren or students? What can you barely imagine but still hope for?
Great post and great challenge Pieter! Thanks!