TORQUE Tribe, time to go on a journey (I know, we go on lots of them, but this is a fun one) We are going back to circle time. Yup, that’s rights we are in Kindergarten again! Picture your five year old self. Close your eyes. See the wonder that filled your brain. The excitement that flowed trough your blood. The smiles that came across your face. Can you see it? Can you feel it? As an elementary education major, I am surrounded by children everyday. And what stops me in my tracks is how they are so innocent. So full of life and adventure. They say yes to any and all things. They are not judgmental. They have no filter (not always the best thing!) But more importantly, they love and they love hard. When I began college, it was always said that my students would teach me more about life than anything. I don’t even have students yet, but oh boy have I learned. Everything you need to know in life, you were taught at circle time. So let’s go back. Time to sit criss cross apple sauce, put on your thinking caps, and turn on your listening ears! (fitting how one day this will be how I start my day AHH the excitement!)
Lesson 1: The days of the week. Do you remember singing the songs to remember the days of the week? Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…well the lesson is there are seven. Only seven. And that they stay in that order. Think about it. How much do we stress about how there is never enough time. We jam pack our days and at the end of them we sit there and think of all the things we couldn't do. And the reality is there is always another day. The sun will always set and the moon will always rise. There are only so many days in a week. Only so much time. So don’t stress the little things. Save it for the next day, because there is always another one.
Lesson 2: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. AHHH a hard one, for all of us. But really that sentence holds so much truth. How often do we find our anger or our jealousy getting the best of us by using mean words towards others? It’s easy to throw an insult out there, but is the easy thing always the right thing? It is hard to be the bigger person, to bite your tongue, to just not say anything at all, but in the end it makes us better people and that is the goal. Because what do mean words from our mouths say about us? We need to continue to take the high road, to add people rather than subtract them, and to use kind words to build up rather than hurtful ones that tear down.
Lesson 3: You can pass if you need more time to think. This one. Wow. Children are aware of when they need more time to do something, and most of the times we find ourselves overwhelmed because we feel like we can’t say no. No is okay, no means no. Your voice matters and is always heard. Things that we tell our children, guess what babes, it applies to us, too. We can wait to talk about our feelings until we are ready. We can take a day off. We can say no. Our voices are heard, our feelings are validated, and our opinions matter. Take your time. Do things when YOU’RE ready, and feel good about being in control of yourself. If five year olds can do it, we can too!
Lesson 4: Say “Please” and “Thank you”. These words, are so simple and so underused. But it’s time to overuse them. Say them. A simple please or thank you can change someones day. Because the reality is we all know how it feels to be on the other side of the equation. And to be blunt, it sucks. It feels like an obligation, like I should automatically be doing this for you. That’s the worst feeling ever. So overuse these words. Say thank you to your instructor after class or the person who held the door for you in the grocery store. If you need help, say please. I promise you, manners go a long way and are ALWAYS appreciated.
Lesson 5: You don’t have to be everyone's best friend, but you have to respect them. I think that out of all the “lessons” that I have encountered in schools, this is the one that warms my heart the most. Is this easier for kids, yes. But is it necessary for us as well, absolutely. Life is complicated. Friendships come and go, trust gets broken, and some things are just beyond fixing. But at the end of the day, we can always be respectful. No one is asking you to be friends with everyone you meet, it is simply impossible, but when did respecting someone become a bad thing? And respect means so many things. It can be a simple smile and “hey! how are you?”, it can be a kind gesture, or it could be nothing at all. And that is okay. As long as your actions are not hurting people, then you are doing the right thing. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, including ourselves, and while it is hard to remember that at times, we all want to be respected. Because at the end of the day, we are all doing the best we can, and that looks different for every single person on this planet. So, show the world kindness everyday, and watch the world give it right back.
The idea behind this TORQUE tribe is that while life is so complicated, so hard, so messy at times, we have all the tools we need. We know what to do. We were taught all of this a long time ago. It’s time to go back to those simple values that we were built on because those are the secrets to this life (SPOILER ALERT). So when life comes crashing down, be nice. Use kind words. Know that your voice matters. Laugh often. Smile more. And always say please and thank you. Simplicity goes a long way, don’t over complicate things. I promise you, it will lead you to beautiful things.