When was the last time you were in a conversation, and heard someone use the word “ALL” to describe the beliefs or behavior of an entire group of humans?
How many articles have filled your screens in the last week that emphasized all the reasons you should mistrust, disregard, or fear an entire group of people?
I’m deeply troubled about the volume of educated, intelligent, caring people that are having these conversations and sharing these articles and this is why…
Throughout history the word “ALL has been leveraged to:
I recently visited a high school that has invested years teaching their students to be activists.
While that effort alone is impressive. The uncommon skill they are teaching, and modeling for the students is even more so.
Through instruction and experience, their students are learning that a healthy culture is a balanced culture. And that in a balanced culture it is possible to think critically and to be compassionate.
They are learning how to shine a bright light on truth with data and personal experiences. …While getting involved with, and loving people that have made choices they disagree with.
They are engaging people and growing their cause because of their unique approach. And the impact they are having on the students, families and the community is beyond impressive.
What those students and their families may not realize:
- Is that it is uncommon it is to learn to balance challenging concepts.
- This skill will benefit every part of their lives in the years to come. (As individuals. with their families, in the businesses and non profits they will serve and within the communities and nation they will live in.)
Now imagine the cultures you are a part of:
Are Truth and Love strategically poured into the foundation and the future?
Since our return home from Saudi Arabia, (A place I once feared and had zero desire to move to.) I have been facilitating a series of workshops for students – sharing what day-to-day life was like while emphasizing critical life, leadership and people skills that they will need throughout their lives.
In each workshop students are given a visual of a natural process that will happen the rest of their lives – as they decide if they have the courage to leave their comfort zones or the grit to survive when life hands them circumstances they can’t control.
Some of the questions I’ve been asked about Saudi are worth sharing:
What was the best part?
- Living in an International Compound: Sharing life, friendship, and food with people from more than 50 nations and learning from them.
- Riding motorcycle with men and women from all over the world and getting to experience parts of Saudi that many expats don’t get to enjoy. (Yes – My motorcycle jacket had ½ of an abaya attached to it and could be rolled up when I was on the bike and rolled down when I was off the bike. Allowing me to be respectful and safe while enjoying time on the bike with my husband.)
- Vacationing in 11 countries besides Saudi and Bahrain in the 4 years we were there.
What was the hardest thing for you?
This weekend, we spent time with my sister and her family. Several years ago they adopted a three-year-old little boy.
Jason was born with a genetic condition and under the influence of the drugs and alcohol that his birth mother used during her pregnancy. Collectively, all of those things impact his cognitive abilities.
Jason is a beautiful soul that loves life, people and all kinds of animals. But there are days that he struggles with emotions, decisions and expressing himself.
Over the weekend, I heard stories from his big sister and his mom about times he is having a challenging day. In those moments, they’ve heard him coaching himself with words like these:
- “Gotta be nice, calm down.”
- “You know that’s disrespectful.”
- “It hurts her feelings when you do that”
- “Why do you do that?”
- “I don’t know why, it’s just hard sometimes”
When I shared the story with my husband he was impressed that Jason was trying to use logic to govern his emotions.
He is a pre-teen with the mind of a little boy and a heart that is more mature than many adults.