First shared with me by Teacher Juli Vogelsang, I posted this almost a year ago to the day and continue to think it is wonderful and can see truths in all of this. As Michael Thompson said to our parents last year – “in the end, if they feel safe, are not lied to, and everyone reaches into their history to access strength, the children will go on this journey with us.” Having navigated a series of crises – in the world, in life, as a child, and as a career educator, I have become acutely aware of my history and access it as a strength and for strength at this time.
Throughout this ever-changing global crisis, and throughout the year, I have continued to find myself almost constantly having to balance reality with optimism in every aspect of my job and my personal life. The following set of queries still speak to me about what can be gleaned from the study of positive psychology – to actively work to reframe basic reactions based on fear and catastrophizing and create “what if…?’.
“I truly believe our kids will be okay. I believe they are learning more, watching us navigate this worldwide crisis. (Last year, the queries centered on the children. This year, I have reframed them for the rest of us.)
- What if instead of falling behind, our generation of families is moving ahead because of this?
- What if we have more empathy, enjoy family connection, can be more creative and entertain ourselves, love to read, love to express ourselves in writing?
- What if we enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet more?
- What if we notice the beauty in nature more?
- What if we learned to be okay by ourselves and our thoughts?
- What if we learned our value comes from who we are and not our productivity and busyness?
- What if we are the ones to learn to cook better and organize our spaces and keep a well-run home?
- What if we learn to stretch a dollar and learn to live with less?
- What if we learned that it is okay to pause and enjoy quiet?
- What if we learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?
- What if we learn greater patience, endurance and steadfastness in the face of trials?
- What if we are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professional, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, groceries, cashiers, custodial workers, health care workers and their supporting staff, who are taking care of us right now while we are dealing with this?
- What if among our children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?
- What if they and we are ahead?”