A few months ago, my toddler went through a phase. She’d enter a room…any room…and proclaim, “Hi, everyone! I’m me!”
Aside from being absolutely precious, it made me wonder what our world would be like if this was everyone’s standard greeting. Imagine having the self-confidence to enter a room unapologetically yourself, and certain that EVERYONE is ready to embrace you and all that you are. It was such a wonderful thought. I’m determined that my daughter will hold onto this confidence as she grows older. But it isn’t enough to foster it in just my own child(ren), is it?
I frequently listen to TED Talks while I’m running. They’re often about subjects I know little to nothing about, but it’s amazing what connections I’m able to make to my own experiences and ideas. And even if I can’t, at least I’ve had a glimpse into a world I knew nothing about.
Recently, I happened to catch one of Ash Beckham’s talks. It really spoke to me.
One of my favorite parts is that “hard is hard.” We often get caught up in comparing our circumstances to others’. It isn’t necessary. We are all facing things that are hard. Hard is hard. My hard might not be the same as your hard, but they’re both hard. We both have to face whatever it is. By letting go of the competition over hard, I think we will be able to see each other better. And be more responsive to those in our path. It’s about connecting. Not competing.
Another part that is truly inspiring is her assertion that once you’ve faced your hard and shared it, that you should never ever apologize for who you are. If someone can’t handle who you are or face your hard with you, it’s on them…not you. We need to enter the room unapologetically and be who we are. It isn’t our job to sell ourselves or convince others of our worth.
I want to be a teacher/wife/mother/human who connects with and accepts the people who I meet on my path. It’s so hard to let go of the competition for whose challenges are hardest and who is dealing with the shorter end of the stick. But I need to…for me and for those around me.
I want my classroom to be a space where you feel the joy upon entering. I want those who enter to walk through the door, unapologetically themselves, CERTAIN their ideas are valuable. Because they are. Everyone of us has something amazing to offer. With walls up, we can’t learn from each other. With walls up, everyone is less.