Today I had every intention to sit down and write a blog post on my teaching goals for the new year, just like I have done for the past two years. Somewhere on my dressing table there is a handwritten to-do list of things I “must” try or incorporate more of in my teaching when I get back to school in January. Somewhere on my cell phone’s note app there is a half-written list of personal goals I have been trying to hash out over the past few days of winter break. I will not be posting any of those lists today. As much as I love the organization of lists and feeling satisfaction from crossing off many items on my to-do list, there will always be something new to add in. I’m going to break that cycle today, and instead post this story.
A little girl was walking on the beach at sunset. A man could see her from afar, and as he drew closer he noticed her throwing something into the water. He asked her what she was doing. She said she was throwing starfish into the ocean so they could live. His response was, “You’re wasting your time! Can’t you see there are thousands of starfish on this beach and this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches up and down this coast? How can you possibly be making any sort of a difference?” She reached down, picked up a starfish, threw it in the water, and said, “I made a difference to that one.”
For 2014, I want to be more like that little girl in the story. I want to emanate her steadfast determination; to exude positivity, kindness and generosity through my words and deeds; and to be true to myself in moments of adversity. I want to continue believing there is goodness in everyone and in all things; and that I can make a difference, no matter how small, to one student—one human being!– at a time. I would like to be more present in the moment; to let go of fear and worries, to let go of doubts and insecurities, and to just focus and give 100% of myself to what I am doing, and to who I am with at that time and space. This is what I hope for myself, and strive for in the new year.
I wish you, my friend, a joyous and prosperous New Year!