Some of my greatest insights into her day come when I snuggle up beside her right before bedtime. This is where she gained her nickname, “Chatty Maddie.” Last night, as I cuddled up beside her, she taught me a great lesson, as goes much of parenting.
My eight year old daughter is training in a group of six girls (3rd and 4th graders) for a 5K race. Madison begins to tell me about a new 4th grade friend she has in this group of girls and then she tells me something that stuck with me. (I hope it will forever.)
“Mom, yesterday, we ran so much! I was getting so tired and I said to my friend, ‘This is so hard. I don’t think I can do it.’ And she said to me, ‘You can do this Madison! You’ve got this!’ And know what? It made me run faster when she said that.”
Drop the mic and walk away. What more do we need to know?! What a precious gem that my grown up culture needs to learn from that precious fourth grader!
Living in the year that I do, I get much of my news from the internet. Call it positive or negative, one of our modern features is that the general public can comment on ANYTHING…and they do. Aaaaaand I have pretty much stopped reading the comments. Know why? Because comment after comment, down to the one thousandth comment, they are mostly all negative. And here is the thing, here is what gets me. It is people that agree with the article (usually that is why they read it in the first place) but they feel the need to give negative feedback. It usually goes something like this:
I agree with this but you should have also said this…
There was a mistake in your fourth paragraph.
I agree with what you wrote, but your outfit looks horrible in your profile pic.
If this insane impossibility happened, this would cause me to disagree with this whole thing.
“I could have written it better.” And everything inside me screams, “THEN DO IT! Stop talking and do it!” We have become the culture of tearing each other apart! When someone is tired, we just push them out of the way thinking it will make us look all the better when someone else fails. Our culture is tearing itself apart from the inside out.
I adore the quote from Ben Carson that, “When the jihadists get here, they’re not going to ask you if you’re a Republican or Democrat before they cut your head off.”
Are we so worried with proving ourselves right that we tear each other down, weakening our world for the true enemy to invade?! AND THEY WILL! We need to learn to get along sooner than later before it is too late!
Speaking to myself first, I want to be more like my daughter’s fourth grade friend that sees people that are tired, that sees people that are about to drop out of the race and I want to encourage them, “YOU’VE GOT THIS! COME ON, YOU CAN DO IT!” I want to be someone that builds people up, rather than tearing them down! I want to be part of the solution, rather than adding to the problem.
Let’s all remember the lessons of our childhood. Stop tattling! When is the time to speak up? When someone else is getting hurt. Are babies being murdered? This is the time to yell at the top of our lungs and do everything we can to stop it. “Disagree comment” away! And then there is a time to say: Is this just a mistake the person made? Keep my mouth shut. Is this something that I should address with only the person and not all of public? Go to them privately.
Or is this a time that I need to help this person? Do I need to run alongside of them and encourage them, YOU’VE GOT THIS! YOU CAN DO IT!