LeBlanc-Hampton: A Call to Greatness… and Service

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 18, 2020

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Sometimes we impose limits on ourselves because we do not believe that we are capable. We limit ourselves to what we are comfortable with. We limit ourselves to where we feel that we will be welcomed. These limitations do not serve the purpose for which we have been called… greatness.

We have been taught that there is no limit to what hard work will accomplish. As educators, we use a Growth Mindset to surpass the limits and to attain greatness in all that we do. We teach our students to reflect regularly to help them achieve higher levels of learning:

“There are no mistakes, only practice.”
“What could I have done differently for a better outcome?”
“Is this my best effort?”
“What more could I have done?”

So many times, we strive to reach our goals only to set a new one in order to progress forward. As educators, parents, and community members, we can use these reflections in moments that we have questions. It is most often in seeking the “what more” that we find the most growth. We limit room for growth when we limit the room for questioning.

We all want the best. We strive to be the best. We strive to be great. Often times we forget that being great is not about what we are, but how we are called to be. One of my favorite quotes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplifies what greatness is.

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

So, how do we choose show up in the lives of those around us? Do we serve when there is a need? Do we do so willingly, or only when there is something to gain in return? The first time I read Dr. King’s quote, I began reflecting about how I myself answer when called to serve. Dr. King’s quote touched my heart in such a way that I knew I had to shift my mindset, creating the space to grow from merely helping to serving.

There were many times in the past that I limited the way in which I chose to help. I now choose the gift of learning from new experiences. I now choose to give more of my time experiencing the joys of a “yes” rather than the disappointment of a “no.” I now choose to focus on allowing grace and love to fill those areas where I used to impose limitations for myself.

As we celebrate Dr. King and the life he dedicated to serving others this weekend, what will you choose to do with your time? I choose remember his example and answer the call to be great. I choose to serve.

Tonia Le Blanc-Hampton is a music teacher at Fifth Ward Elementary School.