Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blogging Burrito: People Come First

I haven't blogged in over two months but there have been six events in particular this week that all revolve around one theme so I'm throwing them into one post and calling it a blogging burrito, so here goes nothing.

Event #1:
Banner many students signed
Quote that was circulated by students
A Junior at my high school took his own life two weeks ago. It was a very sudden and unexpected thing, even to his closest friends. This was the very same friend who I had driven around the neighborhood in plastic Power Wheels cars, played laser tag with at 9:00 at night thinking we were so cool, and who showed me how to Bluetooth on a flip phone (yes, back when everyone carried a Motorola Razor). It was a serious wake up call to me on how much I share with people that they are important and matter, especially with my sarcastic personality. The school had so much outpouring of support after the incident but I kept thinking that The Band Perry really did sum it up with the line of, "Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'". I have taken a personal oath now to make sure everyone knows they do matter and that someone is always there for you. Angela Maiers is coming to speak to all 1,500 students of within the next month to share the same message with everyone.

Event #2:
A member of our marching band sent me a direct message on Twitter about how they think sports are starting to overpower the school. This is usually the cliche case at many high schools, but Waukee is different. In this case, we decided on a video showcasing the volunteer groups, academic clubs, and extracurricular things besides our sports program.

Event #3:
On Friday, I donated blood at our bi-annual school drive. The nurse told me I was saving three lives promptly before shoving a needle in my arm almost making me faint. I was not any happier than when they took that needle back out of me after five minutes. Disclaimer: I did black out when they took the needle out. It is pretty funny now but I thought I was dying when it happened. Even after that, I plan on doing it again next Spring because those three people somewhere are counting on me.

Event #4:
My best friend -- an understatement -- is a grade younger than me. One year, six months, and 26 days younger in age. And two inches taller in height -- He likes to remind me about that frequently. For being younger, he has shaped me as a person more than anyone else ever has. This last week he told me I was his "Biggest role model, and it means so much to know you support me. But, when you don't support me, it honestly makes me feel terrible". WOW. If that doesn't show you how much relationships between people truly matter then I don't know what will. 

Event #5:
A teacher told my girlfriend that "Since you and Ian started dating, you've been a lot happier and productive". How much more data do teachers and the world need that people are happier, livelier, more outgoing, and learn easier when they know they matter. Geez! I knew I had people that constantly looked to me as a role model and as a friend, but that I could affect someone and their life so much was outstanding.

Event #6:
My math teacher, out of the blue, asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be an english teacher. He asked why instantly, in a negative connotation. I told him that
"I can't think of any other job where I don't have to work in an office, don't officially work during the summer, can share my passion of reading, writing and talking, and inspire so many young lives every day I come to work". His response was something along the lines of "True 'dat" but I have noticed he's been a little nicer ever since. :)

People matter most.
Others come first.
Choose to care.

However you say it, don't forget to share with a coworker that their outlook in a meeting made you think differently, your kids that their text message during work made you laugh, or your neighbor that you appreciate when they pull your garbage cans up from the middle of the street after a snow storm. It doesn't have to be something big, just something authentic. Trust me, it makes a difference. Save a life, brighten a mood, share the kindness. You matter.