Is Gum Candy?

I love teaching and visiting with college students. One thing that has been made aware to me is that many of the people I come into contact with don’t think the same way I do about things. We have different political, economic, religious, social, and moral views, and these are just a few of the things we see differently. I’ve always come into contact with people that think differently than I do, but just driving 37 miles north to a little college that literally has people there from all parts of the globe has broadened the diversity of the people that I come into contact with on a daily basis. I remember being amazed my first semester that I had a student from Poland, and I loved to visit with the student from Israel, who has served in the Israeli military. The list could go on and on…

One of the things, I have been trying to work on as I get to know people and especially my students is not to judge. That’s hard for me to do when people don’t think like I do. I remember once a friend told me, “Have you ever noticed how smart you think people are when they agree with you?” I can’t help but smile as I remember that phrase. There it is again though, my pride and self-centeredness coming through loud and clear.

Recently, I heard about a student asking a teacher if gum was candy. The teacher asked why they wanted to know. The student with a very troubled look on their face replied that they were giving candy up for lent, but they needed a piece of gum badly. The teacher wisely replied that in that case no gum was not candy and to go ahead and have a piece. Don’t for a second have the mistaken thought that the teacher was I, for I think that this teacher understood Jesus when he said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13).


About dwinger

Former farmer, now college instructor
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