Everything Is a Lesson! Setting the Stage

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Experiences and reflections that you engage in allow you to develop the will to activate “lessons learned.”

 

There are so many thoughts and ideas in my head as I sit down to write my first blog post. I had to consider the overarching message for my blog entries. What is the essence of who I am and my “why” as it relates to my total being and my purpose in life? Learning for me is foundational to my “why” – to empower and equip everyone I encounter on a daily basis. There are many lessons that teach you a skill, principle, protocol, and/or strategy, but the greatest lesson you can learn is about yourself, including your identities and cultures. Experiences and reflections that you engage in allow you to develop the will to activate “lessons learned.” We have to stop aimlessly going through life without learning from every experience and interaction. Sometimes it is a small insight. Sometimes it is a large insight. Sometimes it is a reminder. Sometimes it reminds you to take action. When we are truly present in every experience and interaction we can enhance our knowledge, experience, and skill. Past experiences and lessons activate prior knowledge and information to inform our present and future. Through this practice we learn personal accountability. Personal accountability allows us to walk in confidence even when times seem powerless.  We can walk in triumph. We understand there are different seasons in our lives to build our faith and perfect our character.  As our character and experience is established we can build our mental stamina. 

Personal accountability allows us to own our circumstances – good, bad, or indifferent – and through personal accountability, we take responsibility for the process and outcome.

 

We do not blame our situation, people, or other external factors; we find a way to empower ourselves and achieve our purpose. We can acknowledge that sometimes there are external factors that cause barriers, but we must find ways to overcome the barriers. As my Grandmother Lillie Pearl would say, “there is more than one way to get something done.” Do not settle for the first “no” and give up or throw in the towel, but continue to look for alternative options. When you pursue personal accountability, this sense of self-worth becomes more pronounced because there is a belief in your personal attributes, abilities, potentials, and identities. You consider previous experiences, various individuals, numerous encounters, and personal endeavors, and you look for lessons in everything. This can happen any time and all the time if you empower yourself to take the time to assess your life landscape through preparation, knowledge, reflection, action, and refinement. 

I understand that gray forces us not to be tied to one way of thinking or outcome; it forces you to consider many vantage points and perspectives.

 

When I was growing up there were many occasions I observed or believed that situations, feelings, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and practices had to be good or bad, or black or white. Oftentimes it seemed like having a neutral or gray area was seen as bad or indecisive, but the more I learn and grow I understand that emotions are lessons too. I understand that gray forces us not to be tied to one way of thinking or outcome; it forces you to consider many vantage points and perspectives. Why do we have to be restrictive? There is no perfect balance or one definitive way of doing something or being something. The only thing we must consider is this: What is the lesson trying to teach me and how can this allow me to develop as a human being? We have a choice in this process: Will I be more present in my daily interactions and experiences? Will I utilize this opportunity to be present and grow? Being present means being fully aware, being sensitive to my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and identities. How can I evolve into the best person I can be in life? Stay tuned for part 1 of this series.  #salute2learning     

Call to Action

Take a few moments to reflect on this blog post. Then post your reflective thoughts. What are you thinking about the content in this post? Please share in the comment section below or use Twitter to share thoughts. Use the hashtag #salute2learning when you post on Twitter. Bring your reflective questions and let’s dialogue on Saturday, October 30th from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Register Here  

5 thoughts on “Everything Is a Lesson! Setting the Stage”

  1. I think the black and white areas help form our character, while the grey areas help us to form our beliefs. Take for instance someone who grew up with a traumatic upbringing. Something normal to them may not be normal to you. Their black and white was forcibly shifted. To many have had to cope in the grey area cause they weren’t able to speak out in an environment that promotes a healthy grey area for emotional growth. Without emotional growth, there is no personal growth.

    1. Some people see black and white as boundaries to establish values and beliefs. Consider that black and white various based on lived experiences and perspectives; however, it is not seen as working towards this idea of normal. I remember teaching a history lesson about the return to normalcy the slogan used by President Warren G. Harding. I remember all my classes explored the essential question, “What is normal?” Eventually it led to several discussions with the main enduring theme of individuality and inclusivity. Of course, we can have further discussions about honoring rights, liberties, and boundaries where does someone’s rights end and another person’s rights begin. Hopefully, you can share more about how “black and white forms our character,” I find this statement interesting. Was “their black and white forcibly shifted or did it evolve or emerged? Sometimes gray is where you develop the emotional growth for personal growth. Could we be in a constant state of gray? Maybe we constantly move in and around black, gray, and white? Additionally, I would like to know more about your thoughts on emotional growth and the correlation to personal growth because emotional growth to me includes empathy and communication with self and people. These are major contribution to personal growth. Could black, gray, and white be personal to each individual? I hope we have an opportunity to speak more about this topic. You have me really thinking about this concept.

  2. Often times it is very easy to transfer the responsibility of ones actions to other people, circumstances, environment, etc., but like you stated is not until we take personal accountability that we are able to grow. This read brought to memory a training I took where the presenter taught us that there was a difference between accountability and responsibility. When we are responsible we take ownership of the activities that need to be completed, but to be accountable is taking ownership of the results. As educators we have to be cognizant and willing to not only be responsible of completing a task, but also have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished and do what it takes to get positive results. Taking true accountability goes beyond our feelings, what is going on around us, the load of work that might be accumulating, and so many other factors. We experience multitude of lessons every single day, having a growth mindset will allows us to focus on what’s truly important. Lastly, there are three simple steps that I try applying every day to move forward and not be stagnated on the negative: don’t blame others, look at the mirror, & brainstorm attainable solutions. It is not an easy process, but taking one day at a time and being intentional with what we do allows us to become better individuals, and be able to serve effectively those around us.

    1. Sebrina Lindsay-Law

      Thank you for your response. You are right it is not easy, but it is doable. Hopefully, we can extend the dialogue.

  3. Thanks for your thoughtful post! So what I’m thinking about as I reflect on this post is that we must have had very similar grandmothers! Mine would often say “there’s more than one way to skin a cat!” As I reflect on this mantra, I believe it really inspired resilience and persistence. Thankfully because whenever I saw gray, which seemed often, I persisted to stand in the gap of what I rang true to me and what still roamed around in my head. Eventually I became more comfortable with not always seeing life as black and white and giving voice to my misgivings when people spoke in absolutes.

    It also makes me think about a favorite photographer, Robert Llewellyn who said “we need to shift from looking to seeing.” I’ve noticed when I do this, it sparks curiosity and I learn a whole lot more!

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