Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Simple Question

Honesty time. This is not a blog post about education or teaching's a post about relationships and LIFE! But isn't good teaching about good relationships?

 Emotionally, I feel like I was hit by a train last week. You know those weeks (we all have them!) where nothing seems to be going right, everything feels hard, and little molehills feel like giant mountains? Yep, that was me last week. It's not fun. But that's not what this blog is about.

 In the midst of my struggles, one of the things that made the biggest difference was a friend pulling me aside and checking up on me. Honestly, I didn't want to talk about it, and that was okay. What spoke even more strongly to me was the fact that she asked. She noticed. She cared. It had nothing to do with what was stressing me out, but it still made a difference.

 I think that asking someone if something is going on actually takes courage - I mean, if someone is acting like something is wrong, and you ask them about it, you are willingly entering into a place of struggle or frustration or sadness or [fill in the blank]. How many of us like to be there? Not many. Going there willingly shows that the relationship is more valuable than the discomfort of being there.
Thank you, friend, for being willing to be in that place with me, even though I couldn't articulate what I was feeling.

 It is also an act of vulnerability and putting yourself out there - what if the person says they are fine? What if they are offended? What if they get mad? There is the risk of you looking silly or even regretting that you asked. Is it even worth it to try?
Thank you, friend, for showing through your actions that our friendship is worth more than these risks.

 Sometimes, it's the little things that matter the most.

 As I've reflected on how much I appreciated this moment, my thoughts turn to the kids in our classrooms. Do all of them have someone who notices when they are down? Does somebody take the time to ask about it, to check in, and to really listen to their answer? Sadly, I think the answer sometimes is no. I challenge you to change that.

 I challenge you to ask, "How are you?" and really mean it.
I challenge you to stop and truly listen to their answer.
I challenge you to be willing to enter an uncomfortable space, because it shows that you care.

 Obviously, we cannot take the time to be this intentional with every single person every day. But if you see something that makes you wonder what's going on...I challenge you to ask. Circumstances may not change, but your simple question may turn someone's day, week, month, or year around!

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