Check yourself… I say this in my classroom all the time… and we review what that means… It is my way of reminding certain people without ‘calling out’ any one child. I teach the kids to ask themselves a list of questions when they hear me sing this out… 1. Am I in the right place? 2. Am I working quietly? 3. Am I bothering anyone? 4. Am I taking care of myself? and 5. Am I using kind words?
As adults, we too need to check ourselves. Heading into the new year, having survived a tumultuous 2016, we need to remember that the world is changing and it is within our power to shape that change (or even counter it). We can do that in the words we use, in the things we post and in the comments we leave. Being part of a different generation is not an excuse for not being willing to check yourself. People who insist on holding onto outdated uses of ideas and language, who speak or post hate, who have decided that others’ freedoms take away from their way of life, need to check themselves. For us, for me, here are a few things it means: 1. Am I trying to help or hurt? 2. Am I doing enough? 3. Am I moving forward or looking back? 4. Am I being true to my beliefs? and 5. Am I open to new opinions and ideas?
This last one is the hardest for many people because it can be threatening. It requires that you consider the perspective of another, that you question your own beliefs, and that you pause from defending your own stance to consider a different perspective. As this year unfolds I will challenge myself to do just that… to take a breath and consider… I challenge you to do the same… but even if you can’t get there, please remember to use kind words, that is really what will save us all…