we are the gatekeepers

One of my favorite moments in Lord of the Rings is when Gandalf is protecting his guys from this huge flaming monster thing.

He is standing on the edge of the bridge, and he slams down his staff and uses this super Gandalf-y voice.

“You shall not pass!”

It is my absolute favorite moment because he is risking himself for the ones he loves. And he does it with boldness and absolute authority.

Guys, we should all be Gandalf.

When our friends gossip, we should slam down a staff and be bold. We shouldn’t allow the ones we love to use unwholesome talk or language.

We should risk our reputations and what people think in order to defend others from negative talk and toxic stuff.

We are gatekeepers.

But we aren’t always doing a great job.

I tell my students that whether they like it or not, they are in my space every day. And I have a conviction that if they are in my space, I should care about them too much to leave them the same.

You see, as their teacher, I am the gatekeeper.

I have to protect them from unkind words. I need to encourage them not to see their worth in grades or accomplishments. I have to model for them how to treat others and how I treat myself.

I am the gatekeeper who is responsible to teach them that although they might disagree with others, they can still listen. They can still care.

They can treat others like human beings.

It is bold, unvarnished, raw and real. I cannot send them out into the world without taking on that responsibility.

Guys, if we love someone, really love them, we should want to sharpen them. Push them toward challenges. Buck the status quo. Live above reproach.


Real friends are gatekeepers. In love, we take bold risks to tell the truth, even when it hurts. We don’t worry about what others think. We stand up for what is right. We unapologetically live life with integrity and honesty.

We don’t have expectations for how they might give to us, we live as gatekeepers and ask them to join us.

Anyone wanna keep the gate with me?

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