Have you ever noticed that sometimes the most simple gestures can be so profound? Have you ever had a stranger brighten your day with a wave or a smile? Recently we were driving home from shopping and our car pulled up next to a very worn down public bus. In the window next to our car was a mother and two young girls. The mother encouraged these adorable girls to wave to us. We waved back, causing them to bounce up and down with delight and wave more vigorously at us. This made our day.
Something so simple, yet it touches our hearts. I realize that I personally do not reach out to others as I should. I get so caught up int he day that I do not stop to thank people enough, to connect with them, to let them know that I really do appreciate all that they do, and that I appreciate them just for who they are.
This year I want to challenge myself to thank at least one member of my staff daily. One word of encouragement is so simple for me, yet can have huge impacts on the lives of others. I say “thank you” – they feel loved, supported, appreciated, noticed. It makes a difference and I realize that I cannot afford not to take these steps. When people are thanked and praised it opens a door for deeper relationships, trust, and the opportunity for personal growth.
The other thing I am going to challenge myself to do this year is connect with my staff members on a more personal level. My goal is to have every staff member over for dinner at my home at some point during the school year (we have @ 30 staff members). This is doable, particularly if I invite them in small groups. I think this more intimate time is also important, seeing each other outside the work environment, as humans, and focusing on things other than school life.
Today, 202 days ’til 40 I am going to remind myself to reach out to others, connect with them, and let them know how thankful I am that they are part of my life and community.