#Write31Days – Oct 28 – Better

Today our Community Partners were at school for our mentoring program, the entire school participates once a month and we have almost 100% of our teachers and staff paired with a community partner who comes in and spends time with our students.  Our topics of discussion vary but are character driven and not academic, in hopes that we develop our students and give them an additional influence into their lives. 

Feedback from today’s topic was “deep”, “depressing”, “thought provoking” when I asked a couple of students throughout the day about their groups.  Some acted like they didn’t care, and others seemed to have been impacted. I know that even when it appears students aren’t listening they are soaking in what is being said. 

Today we talked about times that you have been singled out for various circumstances, students stepped out and crossed the line when they had experienced a situation.  They looked at who was with them and who wasn’t.  Situations like….

  • been teased/called a name
  • been picked last in a sport or game
  • had a crush
  • teased for religious background
  • told you couldn’t sing
  • someone you know has a disability you can’t see
  • ever felt alone/afraid
  • felt pressure to do something you didn’t want to do and regretted it after
  • if you’re a guy and have been told shouldn’t show emotions
  • been judged for ethnicity
  • had your name mispronounced repeatedly

Students crossed the line repeatedly. We talked about impact of these scenarios to self and impact to others. 

It’s not just “teenagers” who fall into the category of doing these things or having them happen to them.  Adults are just as guilty, if not more so. 

I saw a post on Instagram from a favorite teacher/writer…

What if we didn’t worry so much about the things we shouldn’t be doing…talking down to people, criticizing, gossip, making fun of, and on and on but instead just worried about leaving them better than when we found them. 

I know for me, it makes a difference when someone really takes time to listen, pays attention and also follows up with me when something is going on in my life or they notice me struggling.  They leave me better than they found me. 

It is my hope that I do that to others.  That I worry less about all of the “should nots” and just focus on the should. Sometimes just giving a simple compliment to someone or a smile makes a difference in their day. I know this because it has to me. 

Let’s leave them better!

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