What is Success?

As I run my errands or go to places for entertainment and see all the different jobs people have, I think about attitude.  I find it refreshing when you have that cashier with manners and smiles. I find friendliness refreshing. As I thought about this, I thought what if it were not degrees or money that indicated success, but attitude. I have always felt that almost any job would be gratifying if people treated each other with respect. So the friendly cashier is enjoying her day by having little conversations with the people she meets throughout the day. The customers are enjoying their day by the graciousness they’ve been given by the cashier. Politeness, smiles, they make a difference in our lives. Saying positive things about other people and hearing positive things about other people make a difference. They create joyful lives. I believe this is success.

So what if we began to appreciate every single choice that people made when choosing their careers. What if we as educators, parents, consumers when our loved ones decided what they wanted to do, we accepted it and just supported them in being the best at it no matter what it is? What if we let go of this idea of prestige?  What if we appreciated every single job especially if the people do it well? I have admired so many people in my life with a variety of different jobs. I realize what they all have in common is that they all have purpose. No matter what it is, this is where they want to be. They are not unsatisfied. I have admired the stay at home mom who reflects and is always trying to do the best for her child. I have admired the custodian that always kept my room clean and never complained. I have admired the trainer who has figured out how to do a workout just right to make my body feel better. If we all appreciated our roles and those of others, how much more satisfying would everyone’s roles be? How would it be to not have that impolite customer talk to someone as if they were inferior simply because they had a customer service job?

So all of this to say that if I were to pick one thing that every child would learn in education, it would be to respect everyone, to always mind their manners, and that politeness is a gift that we give to ourselves and to other people to maintain a sense of chivalry in this world. As a preschool teacher this was always one of my main goals because as I looked around at the kind of disagreements adults were having, I realized I was teaching the preschoolers precisely how to deal with that kind of conflict. Can you imagine the difference in everyday interactions if we all had this mindset? I can, and I know we’d all enjoy ourselves and each other a little bit more. 

July 31 2016