My Leap List

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Change a Life

     I live for those little moments in life when I can help someone else.  I don't really think about them much anymore because it is just part of my life.  It comes from a dark place, but I recycle it into my own version of light.  Because it comes from my darkness, I don't like to be noticed for it or be held up as an example.  I'm more a pay-it-forward kind of girl.  I am really bad at letting myself hear praise, which is funny because my tragic flaw is hubris.  The past few days have made me realize that as much as I hate having the attention, it is so wonderful to be on the other end and have the opportunity to tell someone the difference he or she makes in your life.  My friends Darci and Dena have been so wonderful at teaching me this lesson the past few days, but the best teacher is, as always, my kids.
     There is nothing like the little 1st grader I worked with last week coming up to me today and saying, "I like you, Ms. Cooke."  One of my former students was in my class for a few months before I left to be an administrator.  Now she is a 9th grader.  She messaged me to say that my compliment brought her to tears.  Then she gave me the best compliment that anyone can give.  She wants to be a teacher like me so she can inspire students and change lives.  If I do nothing else in my life, I have done this.    
     It's funny that all of these little things mean so much.  We may never know how today's actions change a life, but I am so grateful that all of you change mine for the better every day.  We all have this incredible power to hurt or help, to notice or ignore, to reach out or pull back, to shine the light for someone or dim it so ours shines brighter.  We all have more power than we can even imagine.  How we use it can change a life.

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