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Showing posts from September, 2016

2999. On This Blog, for It Be Useful!

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I’ve told you all that every single day I pick up a word or two or three, from an English dictionary in order to learn and memorize them. Some other times I pick up those words from novels, at random. It’s a way of learning and acquiring new words. Sometimes even I acquire a word I wasn’t aware I was gaining and memorizing. These latter words come to my mind whenever I’m writing and need a given word. Also I pick up ideas from educating books and websites, randomly too, for example from TeacherLingo. Well, it works fine for me. I try to be bilingual, which is something not simple to attain: I’m after it. On purpose I try to write posts that might be useful and helpful for you readers. Oh I thank you all for visiting my blog. Hope it be any useful for you teachers and educators – a teacher is an educator too, because all we do educates or the opposite to our dear students. In some way what I do is collecting words and idioms: with perseverance one day after another and so on I can hand…

2998. Any Person as Unique!

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Any student deserves my attention as a teacher, like he was the only student I had! Yesterday a friend of mine went swimming one more day and came across a homeless, typically dirty and the like, lying down on the ground. He thought he could not pass by and that’s it. He told the poor man that he was going to call the police or the Red Cross for them to assist him. Some minutes later he just found a police car, one of the local police, and since the traffic light was red and the car had stopped, my friend told one police officer about the homeless man, and the police officers told him they already knew him and they would do the appropriate and right thing, and they thanked my friend. Any person, because he’s a person, deserves all our attention. I should assist a student of mine as if he was the only student I had. If then, at that precise moment I cannot assist my student I will tell him I will do so whenever possible, and I could write down and scribble a note about that student’s p…

2997. What You Can Gain with Your Effort!

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On next October 18 we shall celebrate another anniversary of Thomas Alva Edison’s death, in 1931. He patented more than one thousand inventions! At school when a child his teachers said he was too poor for learning. We can learn a lot from him. Today I’d point at the fact of his perseverance. We can learn from it. He said a genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. We can now think of our students: if they apply their natural forces plus their learned and acquired ones to a task they can advance a lot on learning and also acquiring English, if the case – I’m an English-language teacher. I’m thinking of a teacher that began at zero at English and with perseverance he got C2 level of English, the highest one within the Common European Framework of reference for languages. Edison, great Edison advised that for inventing anything and developing a grand career you have to get stuck to what you’re trying to achieve – he referred to that perseverance as stick-to…

2996. As We Spoke in 1100!

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We English language teachers teach English, evidently. But this thing we teach every single day was so different in Medieval Ages. What was English like from 450 to 1100? Here you have an example of the changes which have happened in English – you have Our Father prayer in Old English or Anglo-Saxon, and in today English. My friends and acquaintances say it sounds like German, and they’re right, because it was a variety of an old German language. Let’s go with it! / Photo from: St-Andrews-Old-Church bscrittersitter blogspot com. This church is in Yorkshire, England.
Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum; Si þin nama gehalgod
to becume þin rice
gewurþe ðin willa
on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg
and forgyf us ure gyltas
swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum
and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge
ac alys us of yfele soþlice

(note: the old english "þ" is pronounced "th")
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be don…

2995. Can You Understand The Lyrics?

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I’ve often said that we teachers should create immersion into the foreign language at classes, okay. And also that we should speak in English all the time – the target language. Even announcements. And that we may present grammar in Spanish anyway, but only grammar: the rest should be in English – Spanish is both mine and my students’ mother tongue. And how can my students understand what I’m saying? Okay, by speaking clearly, vocalizing, speaking slowly if necessary, by using cognates (words that are similar to Spanish ones, like “preoccupied” is similar to “preocupado”, although I will also say “worried”), also by using our chalkboard or smartboard, by drawing pictures and diagrams if necessary, by repeating the core idea, by paraphrasing, by means of gestures, etc. And the students will understand more and more, and classes will be a special time and atmosphere when English is the natural communication vehicle. If we do all that we will view astonishing results! And the students’ m…

2994. A Quick Way of Relaxing for Teachers

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Today is Sunday, a day for resting and relaxing, for most of us. A day for the family, friends, sport, for God – well, every day can be devoted to him, because we’re his children. And all the day for him, and that among our regular activities: they get joy for us. I was thinking of a quick way of relaxing: it’s helpful for me even at any circumstances. Look, relax your body, like it were very heavy, then relax your face – we accumulate so many tensions on our face. And finally slow down your stream of thoughts, as if they were going more slowly; and also listening to silence or even to noise around us can make us relax and rest. Well, all this is okay with me and some doctors advise about all this. I could write for longer about relaxing but I’d rather write on a quick way of relaxing. I said something about we are children of God: if we think that way we will feel or at least intellectually learn we’re at home, at his home at any circumstance we can be passing through. Also if we thin…

2993. More about Grown-Ups and Kids and Their Learning

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As I said adults have learning strategies that teens don’t have. For example when they study history they can contemplate it within an ample context and background, or in other words they can relate a history episode to other history episodes they already know. And they have more life history than youngsters, obviously. When learning and acquiring English they can plan their studying better than kids usually do. All this is so because they have life-knowledge and world-knowledge, oh plus they have their job-experience, which are things teens don’t have or have little. My experience tells me that grown-ups can easily learn and acquire English, and even faster than teens: they also have a work-fortitude and perseverance teens have not gotten yet. Alike they can match what they’re learning with something already learned: they can compare present simple with present continuous or past simple with present perfect: my experience shows that they take hints faster than kids. And remember: the…

2992. Grown-Ups And Teens: They Learn So Differently

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Intuition is like an instrument we can use to learn and acquire English. I use it myself and it’s okay for learning, as I said. I have intuitions about the usage of either singular o plural. Look, I mean, we say “a teacher trainer”, but “a teacherS community”, with the –s of plural, while we also say “a thirteen-year old kid”, without the –s at “year”. I think I can assist other English-language learners, because I’m a learner myself, like I said. Expert Stevick wrote about a learner, a grown-up one, who had intuitions about what two foreign-language teachers were talking about: she guessed what they could be talking about from their expressions, gestures, intonation, changes of intonation, face features… This learner was learning (and acquiring!) a Scandinavian language, which languages are not simple I would say. She could progress a lot thanks to these intuitions! And it’s not formal learning but a vivid one: it’s something which is not linguistic, properly speaking – it has to do …

2991. A Big Project in Our Hands! (2)

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I just noticed I should have written “A Big Project in Our Hands” instead of “On Our Hands”. I assume some people may have noticed the mistake (but not an error, because I knew the right preposition anyway). I’ve just looked up the meanings of “on my hands”, and some online dictionaries told me that if you have something on your hands, that means you have to deal with a problem – okay I didn’t know it, I learned something new. Sorry for the mistake. Well, I’m just a learner of English myself, and since that’s the case I guess I can help my students (and learners) at their process of learning and acquiring a language, English namely. Have a nice evening everybody! / Photo from: china-clipper1 the panam series jpbtransconsulting com. remember: to fly a plane you need a team of people. To carry out a school, you also need a wonderful team!

2990. A Big Project in Our Hands!

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A teacher should know how to work within a team of teachers. I’ve written a lot about many topics, right? But also we should consider our personal work as inside a group. We are parts of a group, and we should adapt our work to being part of that team. For example we should listen to the department head, but also we should listen to the other team members, our colleagues. And I guess we should be attentive to what they do and the way they do it. And even have the first-class human category of learning from them too. And this albeit we can be more veterans than that teacher. And also we should be attentive to the way they are and the mood they are today: Did you notice his face and his look today? He must have (or may have) a personal problem: I could offer myself to him, in case he may be in need of anything. His face today is not nice, something may be going on with him, and I should cover his concerns: his teaching today concerns me too! And also just because I’m part of a team, whe…

2989. Well, If You Want to Gain Communication...

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So we have seen there are a learning process and an acquisition process, of a foreign language, like English. Okay then. And the students have to learn grammar rules and the irregular verbs alike, for example: it’s a help for learning and acquiring English. So they have to spend a lot of time by studying and learning grammar and vocabulary. Yesterday we saw that acquisition is okay for learning a foreign language like English. And it’s sound too to dedicate many hours to studying manuals and textbooks. Well, that’s what I’ve done with my learning English: I can say I’ve spent a lot of hours before my books, at a library or a study hall. And any student ever will have to do the same. They have to engage their brains and memories peacefully at libraries, study rooms and at home as well. A person who can say he’s learned English – and he keeps doing so, because learning English takes a lifetime, will have to say he’s spent many hours at studying, he’s sunk the elbows. And also I can admi…

2988. Communication, communication, communication!

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In this blog I’ve said many things about acquisition of English as a foreign language, that’s right. And I’ve advised to create immersion in that language in the classroom, okay then. Yesterday I read in Spanish scholar Susana Pastor Cesteros, from Universidad de Alicante (Spain) that also teaching and presenting grammar, within a meaningful-for-the-students context, can also help to learn and acquire the language. Moreover we could present grammar, inside that meaningful context, in the students’ mother language, which is mine too, namely Spanish. This is something postulated by scholars Larsen and Long (1991). Also Spanish scholar Antonio Bueno postulated that way in 1991-’92, when I was a student in his classes, in Andalusian south of Spain. Even we could explicitly treat and correct errors and mistakes. An example may clarify all this premise and assertion. We can have plants in a desert and they grow with raining water. But if we water those plants they can grow better and strong…

2987. On Our Students' Dignity

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I said something about our students’ dignity on the previous post, okay. Their dignity is not less than they’re created to the image and likeness of God, as you may know. Also they are children of God, as also you may know (!). We are called to become and live as children of God. This a transcendent and accurate view of the human person. We can have this dimension of our students when we teach them. And when we treat them, inside and outside the classroom. As well when we have to correct them or scold them. We shouldn’t scold them in public, although we can call their attention about what they failed to do well, of course. And at other moments we can explain to them why they misbehaved. At that moment we are before a human person, and we cannot degrade them, albeit we can be pretty upset and mad about their behavior. How were we when we were their age? Didn’t we ever bother any teacher? Our students will mature as adults, over time. / Photo from: quantum computer www youtube com. The …

2986. Communication, Just Communication!

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If you’re a second or a foreign language teacher remember that messages to learn that language at classes should be meaningful for our students. Sometimes we teachers can say many things, but they’re boring for our students. Talk about their interests, for example talk about their city, their classmates, even about nice things concerning the daily conducting of classes, when we teachers and students interact among us in a nice way. Sometimes our messages and all that has to do with learning and acquiring English (for example) is so far from our lives! So the students can see the second or foreign language classes as something so far from their lives. If that’s the case they will not apply themselves to learn that language. If I say that from a positive viewpoint, we have to make classes into something practical and naturalistic! Do we know about our students’ interests? Sports, their friends, their families, their likes, music, movies, favorite songs… better if they’re clean likes and…

2985. Teachers' Learning

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We teachers should read and re-read material about our job, I assume. We give to other people and teach them from what we have, and not from what we don’t. We can consult material also from other teachers in the Web – you well know we can learn from other colleagues, like for example from the Teacher Lingo’s website. I also read from English native teachers for me to learn idioms, phrases and expressions in that language. All we read influences on us. We may think we have lost what we’ve read, but think otherwise: what we read influences upon us at that moment and gives us a new way of thinking and conducting, and so it influences on our common regular life. One example I can give you all again is that when typing a new post some words come to my mind, and they may be words I was not aware I had learned. So you can think that our readings mark and configure our biographies. This one is an insight I think of it sometimes: we can give to other people what we have and not what we don’t, …

2984. Other Nice People at School

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Every person has the right to receive education, so as for him to become free and responsible. So every student of ours should receive his education first from his parents (and the rest of his family), and as a help from us his teachers and the rest of the school personnel. Every person at the school educates the students, from the cooks to the cleaning personnel, also counting on the janitor, and of course on us teachers. We shouldn’t forget those other nice and precious school people, beside teachers! Thus all we do influence on the kids, and we have the lovely responsibility of educating and forming the kids, as I said, as a help for their parents and families. The parents are the first educators, okay, and as a help their elder siblings. Therefore we teachers should receive and meet with their parents, tentatively as frequent as possible, and the minimum ought to be twice a term, let’s say. In other cases we will have tutoring sessions every month or three weeks, if possible. If w…

2983. Why Can We Learn A Different Language?

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Why can we learn, and acquire too, a language? Because we human people have an innate sense and capability of language, according to some scholars and to also scholar Susana Pastor Cesteros, of Universidad de Alicante, in Spain. A grand scholar who agrees with the theory of acquisition of also another language was Krashen. We human people have a capability of constructing our language and other languages in a creative way. All these theories are very practical: both if an infant –a child that cannot speak yet- and an adult, if exposed to a language, they can actually learn and acquire it. So because of that we teachers should dedicate a massive output of production of a second or foreign language, like for example English or Spanish, in the classroom. We should provoke immersion into those tongues in our classrooms and at our class-periods. Immersion, immersion is a key point in teaching English, French, etc. Let’s not speak in the mother tongue but all in the target language, and in …

2982. Fifteeen Years Ago...

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All of us are America. A prayer for the victims of 9/11. We shall meet them in Heaven. / Photo: Memorial in New York. never forget them

2981. La familia todos juntos

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“Ser rechazado es la peor enfermedad que puede sufrir el ser humano”. Madre Teresa de Calcuta, canonizada por el Papa Francisco el 4 de septiembre pasado. / Foto de:Family-traveling-in-airplane www mirror co uk. En el contexto de la familia nadie debería ser despreciado ni rechazado. Parece que se lo están pasando bien. Me decía un familiar que hoy no es usual que esté reunida toda la familia en las tres comidas principales del día. Es así. Habrá que buscar otros momentos para estar juntos, y poder escuchar a los hijos y que estos escuchen a papá y a mamá y al resto de los hermanos. ¿Qué tal el fin de semana para pasar más tiempo todos juntos? Vamos a intentarlo.

2980. When At College Myself

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This blog would be incomplete if I didn’t talk about the study habits I got when I was at college. I have studied a lot of English at a study hall or library, for many, many hours. I’ve got to tell you about this point. I’m thinking of my degree for example. I studied the degree of English Language Philology, 1987 through 1992. Now what I mean is that I’ve sat for many hours to carry out my degree as a philologist. I well remember so many hours of sitting to study, as I said, at libraries or study halls, at college centers or residences. I got good study habits, thank God. I would write an incomplete blog unless I wrote about this point. Something interesting and curious: in those years people and college students alike used to smoke at those locals and obviously there were ashtrays on the studying tables. Thus you could see a stuffy and smoky atmosphere, close to a cloud or some mist at those places! After my graduation I’ve carried on by studying at those centers and somewhere else.…

2979. Implement Practical Activities!

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We English or other language teachers have to take care about treating the school subject of English or other languages as something very practical in the classroom. We don’t teach facts about the foreign or second language but we teach how to communicate in those languages! The approach to the language will be communicative. With regard to a verbal tense for instance we would not present it as we would present “Life in Ancient Egypt” for example, but we could conduct at classes by following the next four steps, in order to teach how to use that verbal tense: 1) The students listen to examples of that tense said by the teacher. 2) The students repeat and answer questions by using that verbal tense, for example present perfect, to talk about experiences. 3) The students read out examples on the chalkboard. 4) They write and invent examples of the usage of that verbal tense, on their notebooks. Thus, we have some logical way of learning and acquiring present perfect. Moreover at the cla…

2978. Fair Play Please!

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To give a lecture to a disruptive student, and to tick him off, and to get so angry, to scold and ridicule him in public? Let’s be careful. He’s a person, and he deserves the dignity of such a person. Better to have him to be quiet and attentive, in a smart and clever way. And when we teachers are more relaxed and less upset, we can gain him with affection and fortitude by denouncing what is bad about his behavior. Moreover, otherwise he could get touched and morally injured, and he could keep resentment and rancor. And that’s not a nice way, no man, no way. I regret the rather few cases when I might have ridiculed a student. I would do it now in another way. Now I would teach kids in a different mood and mode, with other ways to keep discipline. Let’s remember the best discipline is self-discipline and having our students focused on our common labor – we’re like a team, both teacher and students, embarked in learning a language, for I’m still learning and acquiring English. From time…

2977. How to Assess Learning English

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Spanish learning expert Bernabé Tierno advocates school continuous assessment. Think of the school subject of English as a foreign (or second) language, which is a very practical one. If we teachers implement continuous assessment, actually we are assessing and evaluating all the learning and acquiring process, and the effort and commitment the student has invested and applied. We don’t just assess the end of the learning and acquiring process but the process itself, plus the final communicative competence the student has gotten as well. The expert above postulates that this way of evaluating work is more humane. Also it prevents from the student’s anxiety, plus it is more realistic. I’m in favor of this way of behaving. I’ve implemented it all my career long and so I agree with that expert, definitely! I guess assessing-the-end procedure would be rather old-fashioned, wouldn’t be? / Photo from: katie-ledecky-main indianapress com. Well, you know, at Olympic Games what is evaluated is…

2976. Toward Excellence

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A couple days ago I was walking along the street sidewalk and caught a conversation between two young people, a girl and a young man, okay. This second one was saying that he would get 3 at next English language exam – out of 10, remember: in Spain we grade 0 through 10, with decimals too. And I thought, what can we do in Spain concerning learning and acquiring English as a foreign language? I cannot judge that young man, the one with his 3, and I don’t know him, but I ask myself what we can do in our country regards mastering a foreign language, the one which is the most widely used in our planet… I guess in my country we still are far from a culture of foreign languages, although this is changing more and more, and you can also hear speaking in English on the street, more than before. By no way do I condemn my colleagues’ labor, who have to bear with their students, perhaps in a large classroom and with a lot of them. Let’s prepare and train our students in mastering English through…

2975. TeacherLingo Teachers

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I’ve been posting at TeacherLingo for rather long, and I’ve seen you teachers laboring and sharing lesson plans, worksheets, other planning works and project works too, along these years. And I’ve also seen you’re a body of teachers who can carry out big enterprises and set an example of brave work and self-discipline. I’m proud of having shared TeacherLingo website with you all. No doubt you’re the teachers who can pull the cart of teaching great persons forward. Thank you very much for your example. I could name a nice number of you, because I’ve seen you at the top-100-blog list. You’re great. I hope still I will see you for long again. I’m so grateful to TeacherLingo too! / Photo from: airplane www wired com. for flying a plane joined efforts are needed too

2974. A Class into A Mess You Said?

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Yesterday I said something about relaxing, right? A quick relaxing technique would be: relaxing your members, then your face and then your mind: slowing down the stream of consciousness. For instance we can do this before a class. When we’re at any class, if we’re tense, better we should be careful, for we could assign a punishment we wouldn’t set at other more relaxed times. Otherwise we would set some correcting punishment and penalty that we could not follow at all! I remember about a colleague teacher of ours that once said, to cut off a small “riot”: Everyone has one point less at last test (in Spanish). Because: Okay, so what are you gonna do with those students that got 5: 4 would be fail, because in Spain we assign points out of 10 standard: the maximum is 10 and the lowest grade is 0. Better if we talked with the disruptive student at other times, when we’re more judicious. And what about the starting of the week labor on Mondays? Now for example make a very few firm resolutio…

2973. Please Relax!

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We teachers have to learn how to rest and relax, for next week. Today Sunday is a good day for our families, reading, some sport maybe, and for us Christians to devote more time to treat and speak with God our Father, and so relax. Well, everyone is called to talk with him. / Photo from: saba cod id

2972. Our Work Has The Beauty of Sport

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Students’ assessment in a written way should be eminently practical. What we should measure and evaluate would be our students’ communicative competence, and not much about their theoretical knowledge. We are foreign or second language teachers that teach and train our students at their capability of communicating, speaking and writing in that language. At written tests I include one question about vocabulary, one question on which students have got to compose a story for example, and other questions which measure and evaluate their competence at communicating in English with me. On another post I will write about the preference of continuous assessment, instead of merely term assessment. We are teachers of a language and our school subject is very practical and pragmatic. / Photo from: Cycling-Wallpaper www webgrandth com. at cycling competitions the jury has to assess and evaluate players’ abilities and skills, which is what we have to assess alike

2971. Our Dear Students as Single Diamonds

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We teachers at individual tutoring sessions with our dear students should treat them a little better than they really are. Otherwise we would not make anything to better and improve them as persons. This entails and implies politesse at treating them – even some kind of… how should I say it?... kind of aristocracy of intelligence, and some excellence. Obviously we should also respect them as they are, and treat them as follows: male teachers could make tutoring sessions with male students and the same about women and girls. That’d be so because at individual tutorials we reach intimacy, as the students could tell things of their own: study, family, friends, possible bullying, how they feel, how they think about life facts. Also we tutors should learn how to listen. Instead of thinking of what we have got to tell them, the first point is trying to listen to them and their giving vents to their frustrations or troubles or problems. Or joys! Anyway it’s sound to think of what we could te…

2970. Y eso en cualquier día normal

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Todo lo que se dijo ayer sobre el amor humano es aplicable al amor de Dios y a Dios. De entrada contamos siempre con el amor que Dios nos tiene, que es más que el de nuestra madre y nuestro padre. De entrada contamos con eso. Él nunca traiciona ni abandona. Las personas que cuentan con Dios pueden tener más agarraderos ante situaciones límite de la vida misma. ¡Se está tan mal sin Él! Y por el contrario, ¡es tan bueno que exista! Él no deja a nadie en la estacada. Hay personas que se han convertido a Él por ejemplo al entrar en una iglesia: ahí lo han encontrado. De una manera u otra nos habla de continuo. Podemos contar con eso. Y con Él. En principio me paso al inglés al escribir desde mañana otra vez. / Foto de: www viral us. Pongo la foto de un señor sonriendo, en medio de su trabajo profesional. Podemos encontrar a Dios en medio de nuestra jornada normal. Creo que el señor de la foto salvó a una transeúnte, por cierto. Para ser feliz no es necesario no tener problemas sino que ba…

2969. ¿Amor o Spoilers?

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Es una suerte, gracias a Dios, poder expresarse en inglés o en español (o castellano), con más o menos fortuna. Más suerte habría si los posibles lectores supieran también este idioma. El amor entre un hombre y una mujer – tratamos con adolescentes quizá, y surge el amor entre ellos y en ellos – es poder decir “¡Qué bueno que existas!”. Porque entonces, si es un amor noble y limpio, el amor de un hombre hacia una mujer (y al revés), ya digo, si es limpio y noble, llevará a que el uno busque lo mejor para el otro, o sea, que busque el bien para la otra persona. Es el amor de benevolencia: “bene-volens”, en latín, “el que quiere el bien” para el otro. Esto se puede extrapolar al amor a Dios, del que otro día trataré, en principio. En ese caso, el amor entre un hombre y una mujer lleva a pensar al hombre, por ejemplo, que aquella mujer es la mujer de su vida. Qué bueno que existas. Yo quiero tu bien, lo mejor para ti. Y todo esto dicho al menos desde Aristóteles, de este modo, allá por e…