When I read Suzanne’s article/post I was really grateful. Grateful that she shared another perspective and helped me to gain a better appreciation for the gray areas that exist in our world.
I guess I’ve been around for a while now because I can recall…vividly… many experiences in the past twenty years that have helped me better appreciate the human condition and the challenges that we face in life. No…I’m not one of those people who believes I can understand every plight and dilemma that people experience, but I can empathize with them and acknowledge their challenges. Like Suzanne, what was once black and white for me has become many wonderful and powerful shades of gray.
Do you recall a time in your career when you considered the notion that someone who took a day off to care for a child or attend a school event was unthinkable? Did you ever think that the person who arrived late was a bad employee, regardless of whether they had narrowly missed a horrendous accident and were just happy to have made it to work alive, or if their child had a meltdown in the morning and they had to play the role of miracle worker on the way from their house to school so that both they and their child would be able to function for the rest of the day?
I was there. Yep. That was me…once…not the parent juggling two very important roles or the one taking off time for my child (no…that came later in life for me), no…I was the critical one. The one quick to judge and point fingers. I was…
Twenty years later on, I have a very different view of the world. I’ve come to realize the world is so much better when we realize that our co-workers and the people around us are REAL people. They have dreams and aspirations and hopes and joys and fears, and sometimes they face hardship, real heart wrenching challenges, and if we can acknowledge that, then those people can also become our inspiration…like Suzanne who fights on as a mother of two amazing daughters and shares her experience so we can become better people…like the faculty and staff at McAuliffe who care so deeply for our school, our philosophy, and our community, and tirelessly work to provide the very best learning opportunities for children…like the parents in our community who gladly volunteer, spending countless hours on campus and at home in order to create even better learning experiences for ALL of the students at McAuliffe….
In this lifetime, we will all face hardships and challenges and as a community we quickly come together to support one another through them. We will also celebrate wonderful successes and joys as we see our children growing and learning, as we ourselves grow as parents and better understand one more developmental stage.
In those moments of frustration and challenge, when you are tempted to see only black or white, consider the gray areas.
Thank you again Suzanne for sharing your world with us!