So it is a big one…today is my actual birthday, but last night my husband orchestrated a surprise birthday party: family, good friends, good food and laughter. No better recipe. I am a lucky girl – actually, “old lady”.
Because it is my birthday, I am exercising my “birthday person” privileges by writing about what the heck I want. A theme has emerged for me over the last 10 days or so, and which prompted the title of this post: conducting oneself with kindness, assuming goodwill on the opposing side, and behaving like a grown up.
During a kaffeeklatsch with two pals that I hadn’t visited with in a while, one made the observation that if we three ruled the world, we’d tell our people they must treat each other well, with consideration and respect, then send them on their way with the command: “Conduct yourselves accordingly…”
This civility motif continued when an educator I follow on Twitter – an arena known for bloviation, snark and intemperance, where razor-sharp wit is most often used to flay others rather than hone an argument – this fellow said “meant to say thanks for your positive and balanced voice in all the debate that seems to swirl around education.”. Wow. I was so pleased to get this bouquet, because my style can get a wee bit, um, hyperbolic.
I’d love this to become a meme, that CYA became code for the act of behaving decently, with an altruistic attitude. It’s that idea of doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. What a world it would be. I’d love our students to manifest this deportment.
Lastly, I have been working on a committee to update Administration Policies and Procedures around Safe and Caring Schools, defining bullying and crafting a stand-alone policy/procedure regarding respect for diversity of sexual orientation. It is very important to get this right. I truly believe lives can depend on it. This video, a lovely animation of a Shane Koyczan work, imparts the pain that bullying, unkindness, and casual thoughtlessness inflicts on its victims. Since I don’t rule the world, as the sparklers on my cake extinguished, my birthday wish was: let us all be kinder to each other, let us all learn to take a breath and not ever unleash, unconsidered cruel words…like bullets, they can not be called back.