At the end, is not the end

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As we come to a close of 2018, many will spend the necessary time to reflect.  For my and me family, 2018 was very rough.  We were still adapting to a new area of which we recently moved, my father-in-law had just past late 2017, and we were going through our first home purchase, which some would say is exciting but it took us 6 months to complete the process. Even still, 2018 brought forth a great deal of lessons and as a husband, father, and educator, I am stronger for it.

As part of my reflection process for the year I would like to offer you these three tips as you head off into 2019.

First, never forget to be humble. Everybody knows something or has some special skill that the next person just doesn’t quite match up to, but at the end of the day those skills or that knowledge doesn’t amount to anything if you are not humble. Be still, calm, and quiet, to make sure you are hearing all that is around you, as you may learn something from the very person standing beside you.

Second, never forget to be kind – Everybody needs somebody that is kind to them. You never know with the people you meet how you will change their lives just because of the one kind moment that you had with them, whether that be in the grocery store or at the gas station.

I remember recently I was at the gas station and there was this very old vehicle coming in from the street with an old couple driving. Just as they exited the street, it was obvious that they ran out of gas. With 30 – 40 yards left before they got to the pump, the old man tried to start the vehicle again and again to no avail. Just then a young individual, who couldn’t have been more than 14 or 15 years old walking by at the time, ran over and pushed the back of the vehicle until they got to the pump.

As they arrived at the pump, the old man rolled down his window and said to the young man “Thank you son! Glad to see that there are some kind young men still left in this world.” The young man said no problem and walked on. Now here are two very different individuals in this world, one who needed nothing and one who needed a push. Neither will likely cross paths again, but both are strengthened by the simple act of kindness. This reminds me of that saying “It is always cool to be kind.”

Finally, never underestimate the power of challenge. Now what I mean by this is somebody who will push you further each and every day. I am lucky that I have two individuals that do this with me each day. First is my wife of 18 years. She is the most loving, caring, and selfless person I know. Of course, she is the first person to tell me when I am screwing up and I love her so much for that as it helps me get back on the right path.

Second is my current principal. She is wise beyond her years. She thinks of things that I never would think of. She always thinks about what she does and how it will affect the relationship. She does not shy away from having difficult conversations, but does so in a way that the person walks away not feeling hopeless and can make some real changes to better students. I know, I have been one of those people.

As 2018 comes to a close, what are you thankful for and how will being humble, kind, and challenging people help you for 2019.