Meet Mr. J., a grade school librarian. Through the years, many students came through the halls of this particular school and they all adored Mr. J. He had a way with children by knowing each student by his/her name and making all of them feel special. It was not unusual to walk past the library and see a group of students huddled around his desk sharing their day with him.
Mr. J. was not only the school Librarian, but also the leader of an esteemed organization called the 6th Grade Student Council. In order to belong to this group, the then 5th grade students had to be on the honor roll, be recommended by a past or current teacher, and write an essay on why they wanted to be on the Student Council. Only after they had satisfied these requirements, they needed to pass somewhat of an adult-like interview. All of the students took this entire process very seriously. Unfortunately through this process some were eliminated, but the ones that were chosen had mustered up to the challenge.
The decision was tough this year because these 5th graders were an exceptional group and have been ever since starting Kindergarten. Mr. J. actually added 6 more students to the Council because of the extraordinary group that wanted to join. When the final 18 students were chosen they were so excited, not only to be on Student Council, but also to be working so closely with Mr. J.
The last day of school has its own special feelings but this was also the day that the current Council would be introducing the next years Council. Before school, Mr. J. had a special meeting with the up and coming group. Of course they did not know that he had always had a yearning to work in a high-school library. Well, that time had come, his dream was coming true. He had applied for and been offered the job at a local high school. He had just found out himself and now had to tell his group of Council members the news. Immediately tears started flowing; tears of sadness and disbelief. They had waited all these years to be able to work with him and now he was leaving them!
When the assembly began soon after school started it was time to pass on the Student Council torch. As the Council students filed in with their red eyes and sat down, word spread like wildfire, Mr. J. was LEAVING?!?! More tears were now added to the mix. On one hand Mr. J. was happy that he was following his dreams. However to the students, needless to say, they were crushed. After that short day of school many students stayed behind to say their last good-byes to Mr. J.
It appears that Mr. J. went far beyond the call of duty in teaching the students about the real world. From a logical and metaphysical standpoint, when people are in an emotional whirlwind they cannot see the lesson being taught. When I first heard this story, through the teary eyes of a 5th grader I started to think of this as a lesson in Letting Go. I see that this small group of kids is being taught a life lesson about Letting Go and allowing someone to follow their path. This close-knit group of students, that were looking so forward to the following year, will hopefully someday look back at this experience and add it to their bag of lessons to help them along as adults.
Letting Go comes in all sizes and shapes and colors. And sometimes it may appear that we are not aware of what we are Letting Go of until we have actually done it. When we let go of people, situations, and the arrogance of material then we allow ourselves to grow, logically and spiritually.
Some of you may have guessed it by now, but I am the observer and it was my daughter who was one in the small group of students. I hope that some day she can get past her tears and see this adventure for what it was–a lesson in Letting Go.
© Tony Masiello 2006