Nannie Helen Burroughs

Talk at Faculty Meeting - Nov. 22, 1942

Nannie Helen Burroughs
November 22, 1942
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November 22, 1942

With three o’clock having been set as the hour for Faculty Meeting, President Burroughs opened promptly with Prayer, after which she stated that reports given her of previous meetings held by Prof. Lormans had been “most satisfactory.”

In a very informal setting, the President stated the following pertinent facts as the outgrowth of her observations, meditations and conferences:

“If we can see together the opportunity and the challenge together, it is possible to work together more effectively. At the beginning of this year, I wanted everybody to find themselves and I have tried to give that sort of opportunity. I am expecting a great deal in the matter of administration, and I am giving Prof. Lormans my whole-hearted support because I believe in him and in his capabilities. When I give people something to do, I let them do it, and when I find out they can’t do it, I let them go.

We have gone through difficult days here, but I am convinced that God is going to restore to us very fully all of the things we have had and that He is going to give us more things. I believe God is helping me by giving me those who take this work as seriously as I do……

“A CAUSE LIKE THIS” requires that we -

(1) Know Young People. (2) Influence them in character ideals.

PROGRESSIVE ENDEAVOR - have a sense of what has been put into this Cause here: Prayer, sweat, blood, hope, money, willing sacrifice.

It requires “heart-interest” in our ideal.

“A CAUSE LIKE THIS” means team-work.

“A CAUSE LIKE THIS” is hurt, damaged, destroyed, defeated by petty, selfish, weak, lazy teachers.

The entire campus, every building, must have ATMOSPHERE. People must know that you live here - that you work here and that your rich, wholesome influence pervades this atmosphere. It is wholesome because you live here, work here, pray here.

Teachers who have uncontrolled moods, no vision and who are constantly saying in themselves “How little can I do today,” and getting behind do not belong in a school where the Art of Living a full, useful, attractive life is the fundamental requirement. The Art of Living is taught by example. Picking flaws or picking on folks is not part of a good teacher’s job.

A place like this is not the place for those who are not enthusiastic about this work. Nobody in the world ever wins success or a place of usefulness until he or she is absolutely wedded to a Cause. Criticism of the school - it is not perfect, never will be - of the students, of the faculty is an evidence of weakness, of an unprofessional attitude. It shows a lack - a woeful lack of standards, of principles, of ethics. If a person lives by or on a CAUSE LIKE THIS, he or she must live FOR IT, otherwise he or she is living a thief, a robber, an infidel and CAUSES LIKE THIS never succeed with persons like that. If a teacher can get more money, get more comfort, get more enjoyment - GO.

IN A CAUSE LIKE THIS “tolerating” a situation does damage to the CAUSE; to the individual. We must co-operate! (story of difference in operating and co-operating.)

I like people who can make suggestions, but they must be practical and possible, and the person who makes them must go the second mile to carry them out. Criticism is all right, if it is constructive.

Criticism to the right person, in the right place, at the right time and in the right spirit.

I would ask a teacher “How goes your definite part of the work?” Put in time getting your part of the job done.

Every teacher should be conscious of what is taking place in the lives of students, especially girls. Most teachers fall down trying to handle students. The student is nine-tenths right most of the time, especially when it comes to an analysis of what a teacher actually knows about the thing she is teaching. Students see our lives. Sometimes they don’t understand what we say but they do understand what we do.

So, today, I am asking you, as teachers, to dedicate yourselves to the CAUSE with stint, with whole-hearted endeavor. If you hurt all the time and have to carry that into your work, you are emotionally unfit for THIS CAUSE. These young people must see people whole and well and up and going. This is no place for anybody who is not mentally, morally, and socially fit. This is a team - everybody playing.

Don’t life yourself up. Jesus said “Lift me up.” He who would be great, let him be servant. I want us to be free - at home and “at home” means sharing everything. Unless you can work together on a team, you are no good.

I hope that as teachers, you are reading and seeing things that are new in your field and I hope you are going to demand the outside reading for your students. Dickens’ Christmas Carol”, Moore’s “’Twas the Night before Christmas,” etc. If you work with young people you want to help them.

Anywhere there is something out of place, you should help. If you know what your influence means, you will help.

We don’t move on time. Bells don’t ring on time. It is the little things that count. Michael Angelo said “Trifles make perfection and perfection is no Trifle.”

I am desiring nothing under the sun but Perfection. I have put much into this CAUSE and I haven’t put it in for Nannie H. Burroughs, but for my Lord and Saviour who wants womanhood glorified and as Christian women, I want you to catch the spirit of this thing. Put your heart in it. Understand everything about it. There are no secrets.