There is much to glean and learn from the letter below. I decided to share this because, I believe, if we all adopted the the mindset that is presented below we would be better people because of it. This student really gets what it is all about. Thank you ma’am!
Dear Mr. Wegert and Ms. Alley,
Call me sentimental, but I have to say that watching graduation tonight was very powerful for me. I really got to see that it doesn’t always look neat and organized (ok, so maybe one student was hanging out on “this spot” instead of “that spot!” LOL!) But in the end, I could tell that people were trying their darndest to set the bar high and that they were proud of themselves. It was great to get to witness such a wonderful snap shot of humanity. The school you have created is a wonderful place where all age groups can come together and use their bodies and minds (and leave technology behind!) to grow as people. You are making a difference in the lives of these families.
One neat thing for me tonight was that I got to watch everyone warming up instead of being focused on my own readiness. At one point, after you had cranked up the music, I noticed a two year old little boy rocking it out dancing as if his life depended on it! What a hoot! I loved all the little pockets of energy everywhere! I love that this is a place where all kids, adults and teens can come together and respect each other and learn from each other. Many teenagers blow off adults in our culture and it is wonderful to see the kind of intergenerational respect that is being fostered in your school.
There was a moment tonight that I don’t think I will soon forget. Maybe it’s because I lost my dad this year, but I was so incredibly touched by Jonathan quietly coming alongside his dad as he finished his long set of universals. He reminded me of the friend who comes to run alongside the tired marathoner in the 25th mile, helping him to pace himself toward the finish line. What a lovely move for a young son to make to show love and respect for his dad. Jonathan displayed true black belt character in my opinion tonight. What a privilege for me to be “taught” by this young man. And of course I have to say that both Samantha and Jonathan looked super sharp tonight.
Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel as though EVERYONE is better than I am, but tonight I was inspired to remember that it’s not just about physical ability, but maybe more so about who you are being in relationship to yourself and to others. Maybe I can learn to be content with trying to raise my own bar and not compare myself to others so much.
I had fun routing for everyone tonight and truly am enjoying the friendships I am forming through karate. I absolutely LOVE the intergenerational aspect of your school. There is no other organization that I know of where people are so “for others.” I am blessed to be a part of this journey and would like to thank you for your continued commitment. Your continued support really encourages me, especially when I am feeling particularly inept! As someone said this week, there will always be someone better than you.
I was proud of both of you tonight. Mr. Wegert, you could tell that you had fun tonight engaging with your students. Ms. Alley, you did an awesome job on your performance tonight. It was great to watch you and Mr. Webber. Congratulations on your new rank!!!! I loved the story you told about your journey!! Thanks for allowing me to graduate with the class even though I wasn’t out there. Perhaps I learned more in the stands tonight than I might have on the floor.
I am proud to be a part of Super Kicks.
(Mr. and Mrs. Hinton train with their two sons in our Black Belt Leadership Program in Charlottesville, VA)