What if You Could Make Someone's Day Better Today?
Wednesday August 24, 2022
Last week, one of my high school seniors told me she hates going to school.
Of course, I asked her why. She said she just feels like it’s boring and it gets in the way of the direction she wants to go in life. She has aspirations of being a salon owner and already has a FANTASTIC part-time job working in a salon. She does the bookkeeping for the salon, manages inventory, welcomes guests – all skills that she learned on the job. And going to school gets in her way, she feels. She’s also the eldest of three kids, whose mom is a widow. So, she’s taken on more than her fair share of adult responsibilities at a too-young age.
Frankly, she struggles with academics, too. Concepts like fractions, when encountered in a fabricated question on a quiz or test, make little sense to her. But ask her to adjust inventory requirements, which we math-folks know involves using fractions & proportions, and she’s golden.
We could debate the pros and cons of requiring kids to stay in school, blah, blah, blah.
But in the meantime, how do we help someone who doesn’t WANT to do something she ‘HAS’ to do?
One way is to help her take the focus off her own experience and shift it to how she can impact someone else’s experience.
I asked her, what if you went in to school tomorrow looking for a way to make someone else’s day better? I continued: what if you find someone to compliment in every class? Or what if you see someone who is struggling – maybe they’re carrying too many books, or they look like the wanted to cry – and you offer a helping hand or a listening ear? What if you simply smile at someone you pass in the hallway – a genuine, eyes-fully-smiling kind of smile?
She paused, and she said, ‘I never thought about that. I’ll have to try it.’
Fast forward a few days. I texted her over the weekend, asking whether that thought shift changed her feelings about school at all.
She texted back: ‘It did! I’m still not happy knowing I have to go lol, but it makes the day go by a little quicker.’
I’ll take it. 😊
How could this shift in perspective help you or your t(w)een change your experiences? I'd love to know.