A few weeks ago, the priest homily told a story about a man who came in from the rain and ended up in the devil’s barn. It had seeds of greed, anger and lust, but by far the most was seeds of doubt. The farmer asked the worker why they had so many seeds of doubt. He said that doubt grows well in most hearts. Then, farmer asks if there were any hearts that doubt did not grow well in. The helper responded that the seeds do not take on a grateful heart. This story has stuck with me the past few weeks.
I have been thinking about this idea that gratitude inoculates against doubt. Doubt has a way creating paralyzing fear in me. At points, during the last few weeks I have felt doubt creeping in. Every time that I felt doubt creeping, I took a deep breath and listed something I was grateful for. When I started to question my job as a parent, I paused and listed the things about parenthood that I am thankful for. The doubt started to lift and I was able to enjoy my decisions.
When doubt is allowed to creep in a school house, it becomes an unpleasant place. We help protect against this when we create a grateful culture. We need to acknowledge the blessings we have and create opportunities for other to count their blessings. We spend time telling other thanks. Also we need to teach our students to create a habit of gratitude then we give them a skill that can protect them against some of the challenges they will face.
So what does this mean to you? I encourage when you start to feel doubt respond with gratitude and joy. So my dear readers, THANK YOU for reading and inspiring me as I write to you.
I am currently listening to the vice presidential debate and my Facebook feed is full of political memes and posts from both sides of the aisle. As I have been watching the discussions occur, it has become obvious to me that our beliefs and values impact how we see the world. Here is one of my favorites examples.
Why? It perfectly explains how our personal worldview can impact the interpretation of the facts. I’ve watched the people see the same debate and read the same fact, draw conclusions about the debate wildly differently. I’ve come to the realization that we put on a “pair of glasses” when we review political information. I know that lenses in my glasses have a certain filter when I hear and watch the news. I am aware that I try to find information that reinforces my beliefs and value system. If we do this in our political decisions, then we need to become of aware where else the lenses prevent us from really seeing clearly.
I spend a large portion of my day working with teachers. If I am not aware, my viewpoint can get in the way. For example, I worked with a teacher, a few years back, and made the assumption that she was old school and didn’t want to listen to me (Yes, I know there is so much wrong about this). We had couple of conversations which I pulled pieces from it to use as evidence that I was right in my beliefs. Luckily, I stepped back, listened and watched. I realized that I was wrong and I was making assumptions about her and her teaching. Once I took off those glasses and saw this teacher, I was able work more collaboratively with her to help students achieve.
I will admit that I struggle sometimes with being aware of my lenses that can distort my viewpoint. I find that the distortion is less when I come from a belief that humans are good and want to what is right. I know that my responses and interpretations help move us forward. When I put on my glasses of fear and paranoia(I know you are shocked that I have a pair of these glasses) then it is hard to move forward and work with others. I also know when my put on my glasses of self-doubt that I begin to question my actions and my choices can be illogical.
My action steps for me is be aware of the glasses I am wearing. I continue to commit to wearing my rose colored glasses. It’s much better world this way.