This whole piece was from the ‘second voice’ – definitely a different tone and more matter of fact.
We are keen to begin our discourse today. We feel that you are listening and open and we thank you for that. We know that you have many questions and some worries that you would like us to share with you. That will come and we ask you to be patient.
We would like to talk to you about teachers – teachers of all kinds. It would seem that in your society you value some teachers, denigrate some, and slavishly follow others. This may be something you do without realising it but it does not seem to be done based on any common value or test.
Let us look firstly at the teachers of your young people. Your society sets great store by the need for these teachers. They are expected to deliver your children into adulthood, ready to understand their world, themselves and others. A good teacher in this way is truly to be valued for what they can add to a person, to the community and to the whole. But we observe that often your society treats these teachers with disregard. This is a puzzle to us – you give them your child and your child’s future, but they are then criticised and set to one side as if they are of little value.
If these teachers are truly not worthy of respect, then why do you hand your children to them? Perhaps in this way you hamper your child’s growth in understanding. Or could it be that your community does not value its teachers well enough? We would encourage you to look again at this relationship. A good teacher, especially one who is able to engage a child and spark a young imagination, is of great value. If you have poor teachers then perhaps they need further encouragement themselves – help to see the value of what they have within their power to give.
Another group of teachers are those that appear naturally through life. This can be a neighbour, a colleague or someone that you have not met. These people gain a strong place in your hearts because they give you something that stays with you through time. They teach you a skill or share something with you that is wise and helps you grow. Perhaps they show you choices that you had not noticed without their guidance and encouragement.
These people too are of great value. In small ways this kind of person can affect the lives of many, many people. They make a great mark on the whole, adding energy and joy, building networks and healing the result of those that harm. This is a great gift.
Sometimes your society does not value these people because their gift may be seen as small or inconsequential. However, the gift of a few words can affect whole communities and, in this way, every part of the whole. A small pebble dropped into a vast pond and the ripples reach every shore. Sometimes, this kind of person may not be heard or seen. Their gifts go unnoticed or unremarked upon because the person is perhaps seen as odd or outside the norm of your community. If you see these people, they go on to give their gifts – giving and giving. You may feel that those gifts are negated because no one hears or accepts them. Far from it – those gifts are welcomed by the whole in just such a way as those gifts that are recognised and welcomed. In this way, you can see that a gift does not have to be seen, recognised or accepted for it to remain a gift. The value is not diminished. And the teacher that gives those gifts – they may not be recognised by your community but their steadfastness and goodness of heart is valued by the whole twofold.
The third kind of teacher is the person that is often held up by your society as someone to follow, to laud and applaud. In your history these people were often connected to one of your religions or political school of thought. This kind of teacher needs testing because they will often expect you to change something in your own life. That in itself is not harmful. Sharing ideas, changing ideas, growing understanding – all of this can be a great positive. And it is a good thing to find one who can share understanding.
We have spoken to you of testing. If you come across someone who presents themselves or is presented by others as a great teacher, be wary. Observe and consider. Test not only their words but how they live by those words. Test their reflection in the world. Do they build energy in a constructive and joyful way? Do they teach with care, nurturing and gently helping others to find their own truth? Or do they cajole and manipulate? Do they insist on others accepting their words and become agitated when they are questioned? Do they leave a shadow on the whole by coming from a negative place or seeking to undermine or damage others?
And also be aware that even the best of teachers can be swayed and leave their true path. If a teacher gains power or wealth, it can be extremely difficult for them to stay true. This is not to say that those things are of themselves harmful. But they are burdens, generating great responsibility in those that bear them.
Teachers of all kinds can, because of their innate skills, persuade and even control. You will know a good teacher when you see that they use those skills for the benefit of the whole. Good teachers, of whatever kind, deserve to be nourished by the community. Test them and test their energy and the way they add to the whole. But when they prove true, give them support and welcome them and the value they bring to your community.
In this way a good teacher brings much good – they bring their own value, but they give to all who learn from them. Those pupils in turn pass on the gifts. For each teacher, see many lines of pupils, in turn becoming teachers. This is truly a wonderful thing.