Words By Any Name

wordsimage

First of all, I am sorry for the absences of posts. As someone who works very hard in honoring commitments and passions, sometimes life gets in the way,  which got me thinking that life, by name alone, can come in many forms. Life can refer to the life we choose to live publicly versus privately, with our friends who have known us before our teen years, the life we desire, and finally, the life we have within ourselves, listening to what we feel and hope for, not just for own selves, but maybe for those we love the most.

And just like life, things that are the most important, that truly matter, can hold different meanings for everyone. Maybe we look at things differently because of how and where we grew up geographically, our social status, or how we perceive the world because of what we hold of value. These virtues, what we hold close to our souls and hearts, should not be why we are distanced from others, if anything it is why we are beautiful, why the world opens doors for us to introduce us to kindred spirits like friends or colleagues, teaches us about passionate projects like this one, or invites us along journeys like The Pollination Project

What I am trying to say, and I may not be doing a very eloquent job at it, is that the virtues that make us who we are, shouldn’t be the things that are used to break us down, single us out as different, or a means of distancing us from others. Regardless if  you are ten years old and feeling for the first time what sitting at a different table feels like, or wise beyond your years and feeling the prickle on your neck or flip in your stomach when someone says something that cuts you to  your very soul without knowing an iota about who you are, your self-esteem should be an extension of who you are, plain and simple.

There is so much energy being spent at the expense people’s emotional well-being of breaking down others, and for what? For the sheer satisfaction of a win, but at what cost? Wouldn’t it be easier if we all, as individuals, took the energy that we use at singling out the differences in one another, and used them to learn more about the world and relating to other people? A single choice of words can alter how a person feels about their own self or possible choices that have led them to get to this point.

Words can be cruel. They can also be powerful as well. And I am sure not a lot of people out there want to admit it, but no one wants to feel distanced because of what makes them who they are. I guess my point is this, words can be thorns of cruel pain that can foster feelings of doubt, but they can also be words that remind you of what a wonderful person you have become and all the choices that you have made to get you to this point.

No matter what you call it, virtues, values, all that makes you who you are, take the time out of our busy lives, and try to connect instead of disconnecting with others based on their own sense of self.

Glasses of Perception and Intent

glasses image        Recently I posted about the difference between perception and intent with an image about glasses. When we look at the world around us, we see the world through our lens – what we believe to be the reasons behind one’s actions or how events are filtered through our thoughts. Is it true that there is a difference between the two, and it is in our innate nature as human beings to recognize these. However, that is easier said than done, right?

Think back to your years in elementary school, when you first began to recognize that in life there was a you and a them. If we are being honest, aren’t there still? But I digress. In elementary school, you began to remember the differences in people, whether it was recognizing the cool table where the cool kids sat, or what to and not to wear to school. In your classroom, you might have begun to take notice of students that were pulled out individually to work with someone, and often returned back to the classroom with a sticker or reward of some sort.

The reason I bring this up, is that aren’t we still involved in the power struggle of what we intend to do and how we are perceived or what we perceive to happen? As the school year comes to a close for most of us, isn’t there an act of  perception that we find ourselves doing for our students, and  others? We see students who are acting out or not paying attention, and label them according to what we see or perceive to be the case, but often that is through how we see things. In honesty, we have not an inkling of what is going on in there shoes or minds for them to act or react a certain way. Again, it is a slippery slope to distinguish between what a child’s actions are intended to be and what they are perceived.

For  example, a student may come to school with an amazing project, llava oozing down the sides of a volcano and all. This can be seen two ways: the child slaved over the project, working tireless hours over the weekend, or they threw in the towel, and their parent took over their project, ensuring their child would be successful. Are we so focused on how our children will be perceived that we are willing to do things for them?

Case in point, in a recent book called The Confidence Code  by BBC World News America lead anchor Katty Kay, the argument was made  parents were so focused to ensure that their kids’ succeeded, that they we’re so desperate for kids to succeed and feel being successful that parents were doing everything for them. In other words, they intended for their children to  feel what it was like to be successful, but failed to think about how their actions would be perceived by both parents and students alike. As we struggle for our children and students to feel success and academic greatness, don’t we fail to see the negative consequences that also brings about?

True, we as the adults in the lives of students want our children to be successful, but at what cost? And even though it’s tricky and often a slippery slope, we want our children to struggle with acceptance of both what is perceived in their own life and what is intended. If we walk before them, how can children be leaders in their own life. However, if we guide them and teach them, then the lessons they learn will help them create their own destiny.