I had a different blog in mind for this week, but a talk I attended recently by a local city councilman gave me some inspiration today.
Most of us are familiar with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Whether your favorite version features Mickey, Bill Murray, Reginald Owen, the Muppets, or some other, the timeless theme remains the same. The moral to the story resonates with the human desire to embrace life and those around us before it’s too late.
Another theme in A Christmas Carol is to recognize the three phases of our lives as shaping who we are and who will become.
Whether you are an early childhood educator, a parent, or just a member of the community, I encourage you to reflect on your past, present, and future.
Past: I’ve had a big learning curve as a leader in Early Childhood Education. Even in 2014, I did not consider myself to be a leader. I thought of myself as a business owner, a boss, and a professional, but being a leader is different. Once I started putting myself in the context of leader, and having that mindset guide every decision, is when I truly started having the biggest impact on students, staff, and my community. Encouraging, mentoring, and collaborating with others is what makes the world a better place, and makes you a better person.
Present: I have a problem with ALWAYS focusing on tomorrow. I fixate on future plans, longevity, and to do lists which are never “to-done.” An important part of ensuring the future you want to bring to fruition is not forgetting to cherish all that this moment has to offer. To be a leader in anything you have to connect with and value those around you. I have to continue to plant seeds every day, while looking to the sky to plan for tomorrow.
Future: I mentioned I am future focused. This one is an issue for me- being too forward thinking. Others may be paralyzed by their past. Some may be so caught up in today that they don’t think about their own possibilities. And there are more like me who concentrate so much on the future that they may not fully appreciate their past or experience their present.
I think our future is the most difficult reality for us to navigate, and we need to treat it with care. We can’t fear the future because of past failures or mistakes. We can’t forget the future because we are running the race of today, just to have twenty years go by before we know it. We must avoid focusing only on our future so we don’t neglect or distance ourselves from the very important people around us.
If A Christmas Carol taught us anything, it is that change can only come from within each of us. We can be made aware of our lives, but ultimately it is our choice how we live. Our past can embitter us or empower us. Our present can energize us or exhaust us. Our future can inspire us or consume us.
Thank you as always for reading Early Education Plantation.
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