Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Diligence

If I had to sum up my theme for this school year in one word, it would be "Diligence."  I know what the word means to me, but I wanted to look up the word to find it's exact meaning.  According to www.dictionary.com, the word "diligence" means: "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind."
To me, diligence is that thing that makes me crawl out of my warm bed every.single.morning to educate my boys.  It is what makes me look tirelessly for new and creative ways to help them learn.  It is the characteristic that makes me keep doing what I am doing even though every part of me wants to quit some days.  When the apathy wants to overtake me, diligence is what makes me push it down so that we can be successful.
Diligence.
I want to take a closer look at the definition above:
(1) Diligence is constant. 
There are always days where the discipline of diligence takes a back-burner to other things. But diligence itself is what makes me pick right back up where I left off. My natural tendency is to completely give up if I cannot do something 100%. Because of my focus on diligence, I don't have to be at 100%. The key for me has been consistency. If something gets me off course one day, I get back on course the next.
(2) Diligence and accomplishment go hand in hand.
I may not always be able to see the results of what I do with the boys on a daily basis, but I know that there is tremendous accomplishment in what I am doing with them. The diligence of our daily efforts is what gives us accomplishment in the long-term.
(3) Diligence is not only something I utilize with my mind, but it is physical.
On those days I don't "feel" like doing school with the boys (and there are many of those days!), I make my physical self get up off the couch and walk downstairs to the school room to begin our day. Often times, overcoming my apathy is as simple as taking those few short steps to the basement. I pray diligence will be my constant companion in the years to come. Our success depends upon it.

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