If you knew that I suffered from sometimes debilitating imposter syndrome, what would you do?
If you knew that the eating disorders that plagued me in junior high and high school sometimes reared their ugly heads, what would you do?
If you knew that some things I have gone through created emotional wounds that just won’t heal, what would you do?
If you knew that I lost my mom just as I was beginning to figure life out and that the loss of my best friend ripped my fragile new world apart, what would you do?
Would you give me more grace?
Would you celebrate my resilience?
Would you judge me less and embrace me more?
There is one assumption that is safe to make–every single person we encounter every single day has their own struggles.
We do a great job of bringing ourselves down, we don’t need help with that. Let’s spend a minute wondering what would happen if we all had a life mission of lifting up everyone around us? Ah, wouldn’t that be beautiful?
I am a happy and successful middle-aged adult and the struggles I listed are just a few that I face every day. We have students entering our buildings everyday whose stories make mine look like a cakewalk. We have colleagues who are facing challenges they can’t talk about without breaking into tears. We have families who have never had a positive school experience in their lives. We will never know their complete stories, we don’t need to.
I challenge all of us today to remember that everyone we see could use grace, celebration, generosity, and acceptance. Everyone–students, colleagues, parents, the cashier at the grocery story. Every single person.
Let’s spread this message far and wide. I challenge you to write your own #IfYouKnewEDU post and tag me.
End your post with a call to action that inspires us all to lift each other up.
I am going to end my post with my friend Jennifer Hogan‘s favorite quote…
A rising tide lifts all ships.