I remember always hearing this saying as a kid and I guess I never thought much about it. After I became a teacher and then a principal, I really thought about how untrue this particular saying is. I want to talk about this further in this post, but I am going to digress for just a minute.
Two weeks ago when Teresa and I were in California for my cousin Eddie's wedding to Jody, I broke my foot. It was really a fluke accident as all I did was stand up to go get ready for the wedding. I turned my foot really badly and it really hurt. However, I have had so much trouble with my feet all of my life that I truly am use to both of them hurting. So I got ready for the wedding and limped my way through it. It was at a vineyard near San Francisco and everything was beautiful.
The next morning, we got up early as we had an early flight so that we could get back to Douglas. I walked (limped) through the entire SF airport, Phoenix airport, got our luggage and helped Teresa. By the time we got to Gilbert, my foot was very swollen and black and blue so I thought I better get to the doctor. A trip to Urgent Care and then my orthopedic doctor confirmed that it is a fracture of a bone in my foot. I am currently in a boot and go back in two weeks to see how it is healing. The doctor told me it could take 3 to 4 months. I am just thankful that it was my left foot. I can still drive!!! Several years ago I had surgery on my right foot and I couldn't drive for 4 months. I was totally dependent on others.
Now back to the names.............I always talked to each grade level at the beginning of the year when I was the principal. I went over the school rules and then talked to the kids about how they should treat others. One of the things I would always tell them is that if you break a bone or get a cut or something like that, it will eventually heal. It may take some time, but it would eventually be okay. I then talked to them about what they said to each other and calling others names. I would tell them that this hurts our hearts. While we can see an outward cut or bruise, the heart is hurting and can't be seen. And many times those hurts don't ever go away. I think all of us forget about the good things that happen or that people say to us, but we ALWAYS remember the bad things. Treating each other with dignity and respect was the cornerstone of the community that was Gilbert El.
Since I have been in Douglas, I still talk about this. I always tell our faculty and staff that no one's job is more important than the next. We each have something to contribute in order for our District to run and to run well.
Over the past year and a half, I have dealt with some very negative people who believe it is okay to call others all kinds of very detrimental names. I know in my position I can't possibly have everyone like me, but this has gone beyond that. It is so sad to me that there are people out there who want to destroy the good things that are happening. However, I can hold my head up and I am very proud of the job I have done. I have withstood this nastiness and know that I am a better person today after having withstood this. My job here is not finished and I know that I have a lot of support from so many people. I hear it all of the time.
My friend, Mike Rochin, posted another beautiful saying that I believe fits with this post:
"Life is a series of memories, some good and some not so good. The good memories bring joy to your heart when they come to mind and the not so good ones can bring pain or sadness. The idea isn't to only think of the good ones and be thankful for them and curse the other, but to also be thankful for the other because through those times came growth and strength. You are, in part, who you are because of all your past experiences. Use them as building blocks to continue growing and becoming a better you."
My foot will heal in a few months, but it might take my heart a little bit longer. One of my favorite quotes is "that sometimes it is better to be kind, than right." In this case, I know that I have done the right thing and I will continue to treat people with kindness and respect. And I will use all of my past experiences as a building block to continue to grow and become a better person. I truly am blessed!