Every morning since Will's first day of kindergarten I have sent him, and then Hallie, out the door with a hug, a kiss, a declaration of love, and a simple request.
"Work hard and be kind."
Throughout the last two weeks, children across the country began a new school year complete with new teachers, friends, expectations, responsibilities, and experiences. I wish for every one of them a year overflowing with academic learning, emotional growth, and opportunities for physical activity, creative expression, laughter, and fun.
I also wish - and hope and pray - that as Will and Hallie (and all of our nation's children) navigate the educational and social paths ahead of them, they remember my simple request. I hope they remember that while grades are important, report card percentages matter less than the hard work that went into them and the learning that occurred along the way. I hope they remember that a victory in the classroom or on the playing field means nothing if others were pushed down in order for them to rise up. And I hope they remember that acceptance, kindness, and love go further than indifference, intolerance, and cruelty.
When they feel discouraged, frustrated, sad, or even angry - which they will undoubtedly feel at some point throughout the school year - I hope they hear my voice in their heads, reminding them that hard work and kindness matter most of all.
|Kind of sums up "work |
hard" and "be kind", doesn't it?
Besides "I love you", what words of wisdom or support do you share with your spouse, children, family members, and/or roommates as they head out the door and into the world?