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In the Shadows of Golden Castles

I heard an analogy once that I live by.
Now… I have to paraphrase it, because truthfully, I do not remember it verbatim.
However, I do believe the analogy itself can be lent to many aspects of our lives.

For me, I especially lend it my art of teaching.

Imagine a teacher as a laborer. A laborer that is building a magnificent cathedral or palace- a castle. This cathedral is a project that will inevitably take centuries to construct. Days. Weeks. Months. Decades. Centuries. Hundreds of years of hard labor… until it is constructed into gleaming, wondrous glory. With every doorway, beam, windowsill, brick,…Centuries to build.

Still. While that laborer is alive and breathing, with each breath, that worker puts every ounce of their being into seeing that every crevice is beautifully crafted. Sculpted to the magnificence that is within their power. Knowing. They sweat. They labor. They spend countless hours; observing, molding, crafting. They observe and they assert. The laborer sees one fraction of the wondrous glory. One sliver… Regardless. They labor on… with full faith that in every observation, minute…hour…day…week…month… year that they labor one and intricately employ their effort, they know. They have faith that the majesty and wondrous glory of the final product will live on. Long past their days. One day, it will be built into a glorious, gleaming golden construct.

They will never see it, but with every drop of sweat and laboring hour, with every crick in the neck and tense, strained muscle, they recognize that the beauty of their craft will one day see itself into fruition.

This is teaching.

We observe. We instruct. We craft. We love. With every ounce of our being.

Then, we say goodbye.



With our whole hearts, we believe… Our labor- Our efforts-Our love- Our craft… Will prevail in the construction of wondrous glory.

A person. A person equipped with knowledge, character, and integrity. Is there a greater construct?

In my own classroom, I have a little saying. An analogy that I share with my kids…

Within you is a great golden castle. Gleaming and beautifully crafted. With every choice you make, you either add onto your castle with a golden brick, or you take one away. When you choose to support yourself and others positively, you add one gold brick unto your castle of character. When you make a choice that is dishonest, destructive, or hurtful to yourself or others, you take one single gold brick away from your structure. What happens when you continually choose to lie, cheat, or make harmful choices? One by one… gold bricks get taken away. Soon, your structure, your castle, begins to crumble. Until you are left with nothing. Build your golden castle to great heights, with integrity, honesty, and hard work.

I can only hope they value themselves as such. A great golden castle, wondrous and gleaming with immense potential.

Although I may not live to walk within the slanted shadows of each gleaming castle, or cathedral, and see their completed magnificence, I find solace; knowing that my efforts aided in the construct of such radiant beauty.

My heart always hurts when it is time to say goodbye to my kids, but I find comfort in my dreams of a gleaming metropolis.

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4 replies

  1. I love this analogy! It is so true. Perhaps it gives kids pause when they are thinking about choosing the dark side rather than the golden side.

  2. Brighid, I think it’s so kind that you’re having such a hard time saying good-bye to this group of kids. I loved when I had years like that.
    Beautiful post.

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