A letter to students… (and a challenge for everyone else)
Welcome to a new year! Don’t you just love the first few weeks of school?
… everyone is on their best behavior
… people aren’t singled-out for their differences yet
… many embarrassments from the previous year have been forgotten
… and new alliances are formed
It’s usually a tangle-free season that doesn’t last for long. So enjoy it.
Because soon it’s back to business-as-usual… and you’ll see the tangle-makers emerge with criticism, jeers, mean-spiritedness, and bullying.
And you’ll have to fight to hold onto your self-worth with all you’ve got. Believe me, it’s worth the fight.
Maybe you’re one of the tangle-makers. If so, step back and ask yourself why it’s so important to make someone feel less than you. Think about why it feels good to tear-down someone else. Look into your own life to see where your self-worth is so knotted up with insecurity that elevating yourself above others makes you feel better.
And knock it off. Being a tangle-maker is not cool.
So let’s change things up this year.
What if we all decided to be kind to one another?
A kind word can shift someone’s mood. A kind act can validate someone’s existence. And both can give hope and encouragement that life will get better… or home will get better… or a relationship will get better.
Compassion is so powerful.
Because when you’re kind, it changes things.
I know, I know… that sounds all grown up and stupid and boring. And maybe you’re thinking that life is so much different now than back-in-the-day, and I couldn’t possibly understand. But I do.
And honestly, I wish someone would have challenged me and my friends to treat others with compassion as we were growing up.
Because each year created deeper insecurities about who we were and who we weren’t… and any time we veered from “normal” … we were ridiculed, criticized, and made to feel insignificant.
It tangled us up in those “you’re-not-good-enough” knots that tightened with each hurtful reminder.
We learned we were important if ___________.
We learned we were accepted when ___________.
We learned we were lovable because of ___________.
It taught us to keep striving to be someone or something, and left us feeling like failures when our best efforts weren’t good enough.
many most all of those less than feelings walked into adulthood with us.
If we happened to be the “it” girl (or boy) in school, we learned the hard way that having the right clothes, the best herky, the biggest collection of VHS movies, the perfect hair, or being team captain didn’t matter in the real world.
Truth is, school is boot camp. It’s hard-core, gut-wrenching, butt-kicking, spirit-breaking, spine-weakening, heart-tangling, how-the-heck-do-I-get-thru-this training to help us learn to overcome the nay-sayers and meanies in life.
It’s training we need so we can step into the calling God has placed on our lives. Because sweet one, adversity comes every time we say “yes” to God.
But so does community.
And so often, it’s the compassion of another that gives us the giddy-up we need to keep going when our insecurities overwhelm us.
Yes… kindness is a powerful de-tangler.
… So root for the underdog.
… Encourage the awkward.
… Welcome the new student.
… Open the door for the injured.
… Smile at the nerds and geeks.
… Save a seat for your friend.
… Help the teacher when you can.
And when at all possible, choose to be kind to each other.
Here’s my gift to you. Hang this printable in your locker, tuck it away in a binder, or tape to your mirror. It’s a powerful reminder that YOU are enough. And it’s FREE for a limited time. Click HERE to download now.