Teach to Make a Difference (Spoken Word)

August 21, 2010

Teach like money never took precedence over imagination.
Teach like God was speaking through you in active sentences.
Teach like boredom and comma splices found you in an alleyway and you majored in kicking ass.
Teach like you knew how to turn darkness into living color.
Teach like Rush Limbaugh was listening.
Teach like it was April 1968 and this was your last speech for justice and equality.

Teach like you could undo your mess.

Teach like the guard went out for a smoke and Helen Keller was fumbling with the keys.
Teach like night devoured your ship and only you could read the stars.
Teach like your son just told you he was going to drop bombs for peace in the Middle East.
Teach like your time spent on this Earth meant something, because it does.
Teach like the Devil would give it all up for piano lessons on Sundays.
Teach like someone wanted to know everything about your childhood heroes.
Teach like a kid in the mountains asked you what oceans were.
Teach like you were wrongly accused of criminal negligence and the jury was packed with ex-girlfriends.

Teach tolerance like you were a President from Chicago and you’d never seen the JFK motorcade.
Teach responsibility like every line of chalk is another set of track marks you’ll keep from someone’s wrists.
Teach empathy like you could open your heart and palms like pages and let your students read everything.
Teach values like you save young men from trading their integrity for gold dollar signs and buying dreams with their souls on collateral.

Teach like people depended on you to rewrite the history books, from this moment forward.
Teach like potential always breeds reality.

Teach like the other side has guns and you only have one piece of paper.
Teach like your child was being swept away by an undertow while learning how to swim.

Teach like you were in a board meeting with BP with wooden paddles in both hands.
Teach like gold stars were purple hearts and it took bravery to get one.
Teach like schools paid you exactly what you earn.

Teach like your advice is only as reliable as the laws of physics.
Teach like these were your last students, like these were your last minutes, like your words were too important to fade.

Teach until they look at their hands and believe in cosmic agency, fingers trembling though they may be.