Name your children, teams well

Published 6:37pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I picked up the Friday, May 3 edition of Times-Journal and I was somehow flabbergasted at what I saw on the front page. I actually saw four athletes participating in the state track meet, each suited in their uniform with their team name boldly written on the jersey.

The Jerseys from left to right on the athletes read, “Patriot,” “Saint Jude,” and then two athletes represented, “The Devils.”  I never took the time to research why they choose the name “Devil,” but I did look in Webster’s Dictionary to see if the dictionary defines devil differently from me.

As expected, the dictionary defines the devil as a personified spirit of evil, ruler of hell, foe of God and a wicked, malevolent being. I believe that name or title should realistically reflect content. Similarly, I am an avid believer of the fact that one of our greatest gifts as human beings is the ability to choose and we should endeavor to choose wisely and hopefully.

Spirituality and psychology have established that people tend to behave or act in harmony with their identity .Consequently, name or nick name yourself a tiger, a winner, successful, favored, blessed, peace, loved -— and you’ll see yourself thinking along those lines, if not becoming one, in the future. Forgive me if I omit your name, but the point is we have a choice to define ourselves before others do.

On May 2, I had the opportunity to participate in a training entitled Students First Act. As usual I went into the training hoping to deal with issues that have children as a top priority as the name of the Act implies, but amazingly the training was all about school employees, their rights, benefits, protection and other coverages. Regardless, I learned so much. I learned that the Student First Act repealed the Teacher Tenure Act and the Fair Dismissal Act. It reduced payroll time for terminated employees. It changed the Process for termination and transfers. It actually exempted RIFs and partial cancellations, and it eliminated criminal stays. Those covered by Students First Act are Teachers –any employee required to have certificate, librarians, counselors, reading coaches, tenured principals and assistant superintendents.

There is something in a name but sometimes, you may have to look beyond a name or title in order to have a realistic insight of the contents. Whether a person is named Toby or Kunte is meaningless if the person does not have love and respect for God and other people; is not hopeful; does not make effective choices, does not give or help the poor and others and does not believe in prayer to God. In spite of the preceding statement, I still encourage you to name your children, grand children, businesses, churches, schools, sports teams well.

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