We’ve reached another school season, another year of making new friends, playing with old ones and growing older and hopefully smarter. There are lots of challenges kids face as they go back to school and work through another year, one of the biggest is the other students they meet. Most parents like to believe that their kid is perfect and amazing and has very few faults. But just as we know how unique the other adults in our lives are, the same is true for kids: they know they’re each different and those differences can be seen as threats or weaknesses depending on the child and the group they’re with. What would be seen as a weakness by one group is seen as a strength by another group. The teachers they interact with also play a role: the differences that make them unique and could give them a solid future will be supported, discouraged or ignored depending on the teacher. Just because a kid is different doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable or special. But it can be hard to teach that to kids, especially if we’re not living that way.
I’m not a big competition person. I don’t like to sit and talk about how much more I made this year than you or how many clients I have or how much more awesome I am at this or that. I don’t like to compare myself to others because I know I’m unique and special and there is no one else I can really compare to other than myself. I know this isn’t true for everyone, lots of people thrive on competition, hence all the sports and reality shows on TV and around the world. I can appreciate that. What I can’t appreciate is a lack of respect for other people or those that don’t engage in competition and hardballing. The only thing that I believe should bring about a lack of respect is abuse or violence.
I’d much rather work together in our different ways to make the world a better place. I love the world that we have but know that there is a lot that we could be doing to treat ourselves and our world better like recycling, not being wasteful, exercising and loving more. My encouragement to you this week would be to see how you can fit your piece of the puzzle with someone else’s and make it work even though you’re different.
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”