I had the oppportunity to speak to a Junior High class about media and communications job opportunities. It gave me a chance to look back over my career, the choices I made,the places I have been and the results of it.
When the students asked me what my favorite part of the job was, I replied that I love interviewing people because we have assumptions and prejudices in our minds from experiences that filter how we see the world.
If you could see their faces when I explained that my family came here illegally in canoes in the night, they were shocked. When they heard that INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) came and picked them up and they had to reenter the country legally, I saw connection.
That’s what it is all about right? Connection?
I took interpersonal communications classes in college and I love to find ways to connect with people.
I love hearing their stories, their battles, their experiences. I love listening when people reach out to help each other. I love our school for building relationships with each other. And the teachers, paras, and coaches that take time to include everyone they can.
One day these students will graduate high school and head out into the world to carve their own paths
Some may think I can’t wait to get out of this little town.
But having lived in large cities with a lot of awesome things like art museums and foods from around the world, I still choose Syracuse. I choose people, relationships, and sunsets.
The coolest part of speaking at the class was reaching these young adults and hopefully making an impact on their lives. Every one of us makes a difference, good or bad. Sometimes both. I get it right sometimes and sometimes get it wrong. It’s called humanity.
My daughter played Amazing Grace on the piano at church Sunday. When she finished she said I made a mistake. I told her it is Amazing Grace not Amazing Perfection.
I hope this week, this month, this season, as we walk into the holidays, we remember we all make a difference. And I love the holiday season because it tends to bring out more grace. Look around, someone is admiring you or someone may be misunderstanding you.
Watching these teachers, paras, coaches, bus drivers, and school staff help guide our children is incredible. I love how they give their all to helping the students build each other up, connect, and pursue a positive future.
As the season of Thanksgiving is upon us, maybe take time to thank one of them, buy them a drink.
“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
- Albert Camus
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