I’ve recently made it a point to notice and wonder about other people. There are billions of beautiful little moments going on around the world that we may never know about, and I’m on a mission to find some of them.
Over the weekend, I noticed a mother sitting in the shade with a newborn baby sleeping on her chest. She seemed so at peace and content, studying that little girl’s face and every movement. It didn’t matter what was going on in the world around her. She wasn’t on her phone or scanning the scenery, she was lost in the opportunity to be with and look at her baby.
I also saw a man enjoying some early morning fishing. He seemed so relaxed, enjoying the water, noticing birds that flew by, alone with this thoughts, and again, like the mother, he seemed at peace. Just a man with his thoughts who seemed to enjoy the fresh start that a new sunrise can bring.
Lately, when I find myself in conversation with people, I try to listen intently to what they are saying, but my mind goes elsewhere. I have to notice when that happens and without judgement, redirect my mind back to the conversation and the person talking. Often, that thing I’m thinking about is something on my to-do list. So, if it’s persistant, I will write down a word or two on a piece of paper, so I can prove to myself, “That thought isn’t lost it’s just not for right now.”
I wonder how the world would change if we were better about being lost in moments with people, swept up in the pure enjoyment of others. What if students left school every day feeling seen and known, deeply appreciated for what makes them uniquely special and important?
What if when we were at recess duty, we took a quick moment to go down the slide and feel the air in our hair? What if we pointed out how good the sun feels on our face as we greet students at the front doors of the school? Children are watching. Let’s show them how we savor life’s simple pleasures. Let’s show them they have something to look forward to. That they can play and enjoy as an adult. Let’s show them that being an educator is a lot of work, but it’s also tons of fun, and it feels good to hustle after something that matters so deeply.
What if administrators stopped to notice when students were experiencing pure joy in a teacher’s classroom and took 30 seconds to give that positive, specific feedback to the teacher? If our feedback is only about standards or data, we send the message that this is all we care about. Let’s start valuing those magical little moments that educators create for students. That’s what keeps kids coming back with open minds and hearts every day.
There are no small moments. Every little moment has something special to offer if we take the opportunity to notice. What we look for, we find.
There is a lot about the world that worries me right now. But I think I’m a better human when I live in the moment and find something that makes me feel grateful. As Brene Brown says, “There is no joy without gratitude.”
I want to be grateful for all the good in every moment.
Educators, thank you for all of the good, little moments you’re creating for kids every day. You inspire me.