As an elementary school teacher, I get to come in contact with a lot of kids, their siblings, and their parents. The question that always arises is, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" The kids, not me.
All of us adults had dreams as kids of what we were going to be. Cowboys, police officers, firefighters, astronauts, you name it. But, so many of us grew up to be other things. Not unimportant things, just other things. We became nurses, accountants, truck drivers, magicians, musicians, welders, and yes, teachers.
I've had some amazing teachers in my life. Some were teachers themselves, some were magicians, some were family members. Those teachers I remember most may not have been noticed in their field, but they made an impression on me somehow. After much thought, I realized they were the ones who taught me the everyday things. Those things I said I, "would never use!" They taught me that it's the little things that make the most difference. Mathematicians could never do calculus without knowing that 2x5=10. It's the little things that matter the most. From the little things grow the great things.
So, as you travel down the road of life, don't forget about who taught you those little things. Those people who you thought were unimportant, may just end up being that "Amazing Teacher", that you talk about later. And while you're at it, hold the door for someone. It's the little things that matter.
I had the opportunity to attend an Aboriginal seminar yesterday in Abbotsford. Roy Henry Vickers and Dr. Lee Brown were the keynote speakers. Both men have lived very challenging lives and both have overcome these trials to become very successful in their fields.
The one thing that struck me was their ability to look beyond the ignorance of some and see the true picture. Growing up in their respective communities they faced racism and prejudice. Yet both were able to forgive the sins of the past and look to the future. They both spread the message that we are all related. What one person does affects all those around him. What one community does affects all communities around them.
As I said, both of these men are very successful in their fields. But rather than bask in the glory and forget about all else, the message that they gave was to look to your neighbour, your community and treat everyone as if they were your family. Because they are.
Yesterday was a great day. All my relations.
I had the honour of performing in Hope, BC today at the 5-2-1-0 Event. I also had the pleasure of meeting Olympic Swimmer Brent Hayden. He is really an amazing young man. He spoke briefly about his journey to where he is today. He was not always the best. In fact he struggled with swimming of all things. But, determination and discipline got him through to the Olympics. Amazing story, great guy. If you are in need of a keynote speaker for an event, you can do no better than Brent.
I got to thinking...
I always think of September as the start of a new year. I'm sure all of you parents do as well. It's the start of a new school year. As I sit and think about my daughters it makes me think about how quickly life goes by and how we miss things because of the events that make us blink. Here's what I mean. Back when my first daughter was born, 25 years ago, I thought everything in my life would involve her. We took her home from the hospital in her hi-tech car seat, walked in the door of the house, put her down, and just sat and stared wondering "What do we do now?" Then I realized, we need groceries and I had to go to work the next day. Life goes on! Normal life. And in that normal life wonderful things happened.
You can't just sit around staring at a few wonderful things in life. You have to move on with life and enjoy every little drop of it. Savour it as it drips from your tongue and watch for the next magical moment.
Make this your best day.
First of the year!
February 7, 2017
Wow, it is February already and I am just getting to my first post of the year. It was never my intention to write these on any kind of schedule, but I thought I would do better than this.
Anyway, I am not one to make a big deal of January 1st as the new year, and certainly not midnight, as was evident in my last post. I mean really, every four years we have to add a full day to our calendar to get us back on track. So by the time one year has past, we are already off by 6 hours. By the second year, 12 hours, and so fourth.
My reflection for the coming year is always on history. History is about the future. Let me explain. I reflect on what I did last year. What went well? What did not go well? What do I need to repeat? What should I never repeat? All these answers I find by looking backward. Contrary to a lot of self help gurus, I know.
The thing is this, we can build on success, or we can try something new. If you look back and see nothing that went well, by all means, look to the future and dig into something new. Do the research, formulate a plan, and have at it. But, if you can look back and see things that went really well...like they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Now, I am not saying you should never try new things. I try something new quite often. It keeps the routine of everyday life at bay, and routine is what kills creativity for me. I hate it with a fiery burning passion. I need new things in my life to keep me sane. But the old things that worked well will be with me all the way.
So, how was your year? Are you going to repeat the past, or dig into something new? Either way, make this your best day.