When we think of the people in our lives, what comes to mind? Their greatness? Their weakness? When we work with people, we are dealing with human interactions. Personally, I try to operate from a position of joy. I try to see the good in every person, but I admit even I have trouble seeing the good in the person that cuts me off on I-4.
What if for one week, we gave everyone a chance for greatness? Are there people in our lives (children, students, adults, clients, strangers) that we don’t celebrate? What would it cost us to give someone a chance of greatness? What might we gain?
As a parent, I love my little bean-butts, but they know how to tweak my buttons. What if when my daughter comes home today, instead of bracing myself for the math war- I breathe, and ask her if she wants to lay on the floor together and make a date of it? At the end of our mutual struggles, what if we high fived and celebrated? Or if instead of trying to make my youngest sit still at the dinner table, we turn it into a dinner time game of musical chairs?
This might cost me a moment of internal struggle as I center myself instead of jumping to immediate action. However, my children will gain a moment of greatness through laughter and celebration.
When we react negatively to a person, child or situation- we carry it with us far longer than the moment lasts. When we give them the chance at greatness, we free ourselves to experience positivity.
When I work with students, I set no expectations. This allows my students to show me their own flashes of greatness. I once met a student who had a disciplinary record the length of my arm, but I did not bring that to our meeting. Instead, they shared with me how they helped their sibling get ready each day because their mom worked multiple jobs. What maturity and dedication to family at such a young age! If I entered that meeting with expectations, I never would have seen that student’s greatness.
Set a goal to recognize someone’s greatness this week. Make it a challenge. Let it be the person who frustrates you, and shine a light of positivity towards them (whether internally or externally). Notice how light you feel compared to the heaviness of negativity.