|Photo by KB|
Recently, I had a few of these moments in quick succession. The first came from a student. Our team organized a rather larger meeting with this student out of both concern and frustration. She struggled through a rather uncomfortable meeting with more adults than could fit at a small conference table. She was shut-down, withdrawn. We questioned whether or not we would ever reach her. At the end of the week, when my students wrote weekly "appreciations" in advisory, she handed this to me on the way out the door.
On a Saturday, this teacher invited students, staff, parents (even my mother showed up!), and administrators to his home to celebrate the completion of these carts before the race. We ate, laughed, and cheered our kids on as they pushed these carts down the racecourse hill. This teacher brought a community together and I left feeling so full of joy and happiness.
In reflecting, I am forced to ask myself how open my heart is to the people around me. How accepting am I when others open up themselves to me? When I am full of sadness or doubt, can I be honest enough to accept help? When I am pushed and challenged to change for the better, can I trust the hearts of others to guide me?
As I walk through this year, I will strive to be a bit kinder, a little more gentle with others' hearts. We are fragile and we are delicate, even when it does not appear so on the outside. When I see sadness I will try to offer compassion; when I see struggle I will try to offer hope. When I see opportunity, I will try to open this offer to our others.
If we work to protect each other's hearts, we will work to sustain ourselves and others through all matters, big and small. These will be the instances that ultimately build the foundation for change.