We all get scared, even (and probably especially) those among us who claim not to.
If you don’t know what it feels like to have a loving arm around your shoulder when you’re walking through a dark place you’re missing out. It feels good.
Compassionate, non-judgmental support is a cornerstone of organizational well-being, regardless of the organization. Be it a city, a school, a widget factory, or a family…kind, loving, and connected is the way to build cultures in which we’re not only prepared to help one another but also to communicate openly about our need for help. It’s a need we all have from time to time and one that’s sometimes naively suppressed in favor of the illusion of supreme competence (something none of us actually possess).
Also, support begets support. In one moment you’re the loving arm and in another you’re the shoulder. Life is best when we’re enthusiastic about being both. It helps us better understand each paradigm, and in doing so it helps us better understand one another. We’re a bunch of complex organisms. It’s as simple as that (so to speak).
Covey reminds us that “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” It doesn’t take much searching to understand that the main thing is people. The main thing is you and me and those we serve. It’s each other. The main thing is us.
Summer is a great time for educators and parents to build our “sharing about fears” and “being open to support” muscles. It’s a great time because we’re generally in relatively safe spaces.
During the summer educators and parents tend to spend lots of time with family and friends. Much of the time these are people who are happy to embrace us for who we are, ready to listen to us with open hearts and open minds, and enthusiastic about being “our people.”
Generally, family and friends are the ones to catch us when we fall and to walk through the dark places hand in hand with us. Some aren’t, and we likely know who those some are (if we have some like that in our lives). However, even those some can surprise us when push comes to shove.
Regardless, a worse case scenario of putting yourself “out there” in this way is disappointment and rejection, which as we all know are both wonderful catalyst for enhanced wisdom and strength. A positive outcome through hard times remains a positive outcome.
Hope and optimism in mind, educators and parents might consider using this summer as an opportunity to be vulnerable by sharing our fears when they arise and accepting support when it’s available. Through this practice we can strengthen our “genuine partnership” muscles for when we return to school and enlist them for the critical challenge of seeking to love, understand and engage each child and one another in the light of our magnificent and sometimes demanding individual uniquenesses.
Just imagine how strong we’ll be if we practice with conviction. Just imagine what an impact we’ll make if we dust ourselves off each time we stumble in our effort to grow into the most revealed, self-aware, and sympathetic selves we can be.
We’ll practically be super heroes!
You get what you give. I say give as much as you can until you can give it all, and then do that.
My son stepped onto an elevator the other day with unsteady legs, watery eyes and a quivering lip. He told us without hesitation that he was scared. My daughter wrapped her arm around him and said, “don’t worry…I got ya buddy.” Without hesitation too.
The main thing.
We got this!
In it together for the kids.
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead. Thanks.