Grudge:a feeling of deep-seated resentment or ill will
The Beginnings of anger and resentment.
In the Spring of 2011, I was the 7th-grade vice principal at one of the local middle schools. It was one of the toughest schools in the district. It was close to the end of the school year, so I was licking my wounds with tired resolve when I received a phone call. It was the acting superintendent, who I knew personally.
She told me I was to report to a local elementary school as the principal because the current principal was being removed. I didn’t ask why. I rippled with anticipation of becoming a principal. Six years and my hard work was paying off or at least I thought.
The double slap in the face.
The following Monday I entered the new school and immediately introduced myself to the staff. I explained my intentions and the reasons for my presence. They looked at me with suspicion as most of us do when a new leader arrives, but they gave me a chance.
As I went about the business of the school, I was suddenly informed by the school district, I wouldn’t be the principal. I was promised this position verbally by the superintendent. However, in the end, it was evident my talents were needed only to get the school under control and stable for the new guy. I felt used.
After that debacle, I taught several more years before I was called once again.
I was asked to interview for the assistant principal job at another elementary school. I took the interview and did well. It was in the air the job was mine. However, I knew the salary for the new position was slightly less than what I earned but significant enough to ask them to match it.
I was told no and I was too demanding, so it was given to a white guy who wasn’t certified and couldn’t pass his administrative test to gain the proper credentials. I was once again slapped in the face and felt worthless.
The first stage of my redemption.
I fumed for years over how I was treated. My anger followed me like a specter. Whenever I saw another person promoted to administration, I would go into a fit of rage and pound my fist on the table. I watched as white guy after white guy enjoyed the benefits of White Privilege. They didn’t have my education or my credentials and were continually excelling. You ask any African American professional, and they will tell you we have to be twice as good to compete with a white man.
I know to some of you it’s hard to believe, but that’s my existence in America. I thought my education would give me a leg up, but in some cases, it doesn’t.
Going to juvenile detention to teach and the birth of my last child were my saviors. As I poured into those kids, my anger began to subside. I devoted all of my energy to them, and eventually, I began to see the positives of teaching incarcerated children. As I witnessed them embrace what I taught, the administrative ambitions melted away. They were my savior and the first stage of my redemption.
The second stage of my redemption.
My youngest son was born the last day I served as a principal. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, which led to a heart transplant. His birth was the second stage of my redemption. I had no choice but to focus on family. We had two other children at home who needed us and our strength.
As time progressed, my focus shifted even more. I allowed the grudge to finally melt away into oblivion. If I didn’t, it was going to consume me.
You see if we don’t let grudges go, they can fester and turn to hate. I began to hate my profession and everything which came with it. It was poisoning my spirit and sapping my love for the job I’ve done for almost two decades.
We cannot allow grudges to ruin our relationships. I spewed my bitterness at my family and was horrible to be around.
I had to change or allow my grudge to erase who I was.
With grudges, we have to make a choice, either let it devour our soul or remove it like a leech. Those are the decisions, and we must live with the one we make.
I advise you if have a grudge drive a stake through its heart, if you don’t it will do the same to you.