Saturday, July 25, 2015

Express with Respect

Some have advised me not to email. Others have advised me not to email with length. Still more have told me to make an appointment and talk in person. Then there are those who advocate for strategic change.

I have listened to all of these words of advice, and I've tried the approaches shared.

What speaks to me the most in this regard is the fact that when we see room for positive change we have to speak up with respect.

We can't blame, taunt, ridicule, or condemn, but instead we have to speak up for what we understand as a positive path for change and growth.

Many do not like it when people speak up. When people speak up it can feel like more work and criticism to some, but if we don't speak up, good potential is lost. And, when good potential is lost, particularly with regard to teaching young children, a life might not be as good as it could be and that matters.

On occasion, people have spoken up to me. Like many, I too have felt the words as criticism and a call for more work. "Don't they understand what I do?," I might think. But more and more I resist that urge now, and instead I respond with, "Let's talk about it. I want to know more. I want to help. I appreciate that you took the time and had the courage to speak up." Then we meet and we talk and we make positive change. It's an awesome experience, and one that serves to develop strong, positive, forward moving relationships.

I will continue to speak up when I see room for positive change. I'll keep the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. close at hand when I do:

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I will work to speak up with as much respect and care as I can.

Also, I will meet those who speak up to me with an open mind and heart, and with respect and honor, I will listen for ways that I can help foster change and effort that makes a positive difference too. Onward.