Thought-Provoking Insights on Common Quotations by Rev. Marjorie Rivera
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate
our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou, The Complete Collected Poems
Mainly, I wanted to cite this quote because Dr. Angelou used the word “She-roes!” Yes, I do realize that the proper word would be heroine, and that hero is technically a gender-neutral word. But “She-roes” is just such an awesome expression, and I wanted to write about celebrating what we find miraculous.
I took a class once about storytelling. During this class, we were asked to go back in our lives and look for the storytellers. Could we remember who told us the good ones? I looked back in my life, and all roads lead to a particular teacher I had in High School, named Mr. Bartoletti. Mr. Bartoletti was tall and lean with a passion for math. I don’t remember if I was the teacher’s pet or anything like that. I don’t remember having any sort of personal conversations with my teacher either. He was a teacher, and I was a student, nothing extraordinary about our relationship at all except Mr. Bartoletti was an exceptional teacher. He was funny, and I remember laughing through his classes all the time. I was a pretty good student, so let me say that I wasn’t required to take math at all after 10th grade, but I did. I took two maths at all times. I liked math because it has rules. Everything is either cut and dry, right or wrong, and it made sense. There were no gray areas. Mr. Bartoletti was able to use his humor and storytelling to help us see the gray areas of life. He was also able to light within me a respect and love of all things math, order, and logic. He also helped me learn how I learn. Experientially. He would teach us a concept and immediately let us apply it. It was then sealed into our noggins. Well, at least I can say it was sealed into mine.
When I took the storytelling class, I was in Seminary. “Fellowships of the Spirit” to be more exact, in Lily Dale NY. The foundational pastor there is named Elaine Thomas; she is my mentor and teacher inspiration.
A true Heroine or She-Ro in every sense of the word, Elaine teaches by leading you to your most authentic and powerful self. I have heard it said that the journey from the heart to the head is the length of the Spiritual Journey, I am glad I had a guide on that journey. Her name was Elaine. Elaine helped me learn that people relate to us through our story. When we have been there, and we have navigated the same waters, we learn a thing or two about helping.
Thank you to my Hero and She-Ro. The teachers who helped me most, teach with humor and teach with heart. To celebrate them, I also teach with humor and heart.
So, dear readers, who are your Heroes and She-Roes? What did they teach you?How do you celebrate them? I celebrate by being thankful for the lessons, and trying to be a good teacher and an inspirational minister. I think Dr. Angelou would be proud. She is a She-ro too.
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