I am not a fan of New Year's Resolution. I believe that one needs to reflect more than just once a year. Instead of writing yearly resolutions, I decided I just need some words to live by: understand, believe, inspire and enjoy.
understand (verb): to be thoroughly familiar with; apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of
I believe that understanding is the basis for kindness. In order to make a decision to be kind to that grumpy old man that yells at people to keep off his lawn, one has to understand him. I know many teachers that get so frustrated with students and don't know how to deal with them. If only the teacher understood where the child is coming from, it would be easier to "deal" with the child. I remember a student that fell asleep in my class first thing every morning. I would get so frustrated and without thinking I would say to him as I was waking him, "Get up from your nap, buddy. Maybe you need to go to bed a little earlier every night." Then I talked to a teacher that knew him well and she told me that his father had recently gone to prison and he stayed up all night guarding his family because he was the oldest son, and then she said, "You need to understand before you judge." Ahhh, knife in the heart! From that moment on I made it my mission to know each and everyone of the students I come in contact with.
I changed my schedule for my morning sleeper. He was really great at math, so I taught that first thing in the morning because he could pick up on any math concept quickly. I had an old bathtub in my room that students could lie in and read. I bought big comfy pillows for the bathtub and told my sleeper to go and "read" a book every morning.
I have learned that it doesn't pay to get frustrated and angry with anything because it doesn't change the person or the problem. And with frustration comes judgment, and right behind judgment come shtupid.
believe (verb): have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so
This definition of believe is interesting because it means that one has to believe without proof. That is a hard thing to do because in order to believe without proof one needs to have faith. Everyone needs to believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in others. With belief comes accomplishment. If you believe, anything is possible.
inspire (verb): to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence
I believe that one needs to inspire others through their love for what they do. I once tried to figure out how many students that I have come in contact with over my thirty-two years of teaching. (Yea, I know, get a life!) I worry about the ones that got away. The ones I didn't inspire to do their best and to be the best person they could be. The ones I didn't inspire to believe. I know that not everyone can be inspired, but I have to believe they can.
enjoy (verb): to experience with joy; take pleasure in
The word enjoy comes from the late 14th century french word enjoir. En means to make and joir means joy. If you don't find joy in what you do, where you are, or who you are with then enjoy. Enjoy - make joy. If you don't find joy in your job, figure out a way to make it joyful or find joy in another job. The same goes for where you are or who you are with. Everybody has the choice to live in despair or joy. Enjoy - enjoir - make joy!
When I was thinking about these words to live by I made a long list of words. I then narrowed that list down to these four verbs. Verbs mean action. These words to live by are words that I need to do daily and reflect on daily. This year instead of making a list of resolutions try making your own list of words to live by. I strongly suggest you make them verbs.
twirl: to cause to rotate rapidly; spin; revolve; whirl
The Flip Side
What's a verb?