I am so blessed to have Sloane ride to and from school with me each day. I get to hear about her life, and I always learn something new. Recently, Sloane was telling me a story about an adult, new to the school, who reprimanded a student for doing something that had previously been perfectly acceptable. This adult said, "You need to remember that first impressions are very difficult to undo and you just made a very poor first impression." Sloane said to me, "Doesn't she realize that she's making first impressions, too? I wonder if she cares what we all think of her now?"
Wow. Talk about a punch to the solar plexus!
How often do I as a teacher, forget about the impression I am making? The feeling my words leave behind? And, as a parent? Do I forget then too? How often do we, as parents, teachers, the ones with authority, think of the impression we are making?
I find it all too easy to go on autopilot. My to do list, like yours, is long and getting longer. I find it too easy to let "getting things done" distract me from "giving love away." It's too easy to reply to a long story with, "Uh hunh. Yeah. Oh cool." instead of "Wow! Tell me more about that." It's far too easy to focus on being productive instead of being present.
One of the things I constantly have to remind myself is this:
People before productivity.
I wish I didn't need the reminder quite so often. But, until it becomes a habit, I will say it again, and again, and again. I will remind myself of these few things:
Be present. Be attentive. Give love away.
Remember, people before productivity.
What about you, friends? What lessons do you find yourself repeating in your head?
The picture above is my Sloane, my best teacher.