23 January 2012

Shooting for chain reactions

This morning when I woke up, my mission was to not complain about anything today.

When I got to school, I ran my errands to the copy room and talked with a teacher who is usually a prime complainer (I didn't give in to her basic offers to add my two cents of complaining and tried to redirect her to the positive).

I did not complain all day.  I believe I was even able to help some colleagues and students see the brighter side a few times today.

Then I was reminded that we had an all-school assembly in the morning which I had totally forgotten about until after school had started.

It was really mind blowing and was truly inspirational.  I don't remember the speaker's name who came to the school, but he was great.

If you have not experienced Rachel's Challenge, check out the link here.  There is also a Facebook page.

Rachel's Challenge is based on Rachel Scott, who was the first person to die in the 1999 Columbine school shootings.

There were stories of Rachel's journal thoughts, Rachel sitting with new students to the school who sat alone at her lunch table and Rachel went and sat with her, a special needs student who Rachel stood up for and Rachel began to spend time with between a class each day (who admits that he was going to commit suicide before Rachel impacted him).

The challenge is to start a chain reaction of kindness.

There are five main statements that the challenge pushes for people to follow (each of which tie to my desire to be better than I was yesterday).

  • See the best in people.  Don't prejudge people and be sure to give people three chances to show you their hearts when you first meet them since they may be having a really bad day when you first meet.  Every person has something good about them.
  • Dream big.  Set goals.
  • Speak kindness to people since you never know how your words might impact them.  And you never know what they are going through in their life.  Reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
  • Watch your inspirations.  What you speak and hear is what you absorb and what you will eventually become.
  • Start a chain reaction.  Share your love with people, especially the people you care about the most.

The Dunbar poem is fabulous:

   We Wear the Mask

    WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
    This debt we pay to human guile;
    With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
    And mouth with myriad subtleties.

    Why should the world be over-wise,
    In counting all our tears and sighs?
    Nay, let them only see us, while
            We wear the mask.

    We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
    To thee from tortured souls arise.
    We sing, but oh the clay is vile
    Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
    But let the world dream otherwise,
            We wear the mask!

All fit into what I am trying to do in my life.

Oh, and I'll try and go another day with out complaining, too.


  1. A day without complaining... I have a feeling that would be far more difficult than it sounds! I'll have to give it a shot.

  2. I just left a long comment but it didn't post, so I'll just say a really powerful and inspiring post. Thank you!!

  3. @ Dawn - Not complaining was easier than I thought it would be. There was only one time that I had to stop myself from thinking negative thoughts and that was this evening as I was getting tired and having to deal with being out of the house so it could be shown to interested (hopefully) buyers. I just breathed slowly and it helped me to focus on the moment and then I didn't even feel like complaining anymore. You should try it. You can even start with a few hours at a time.

    @ JCov - Hey lady, I had an issue earlier when I tried to reply to a comment left, and it didn't show up. Sorry for the inconvenience, but thanks for showing some love.


I share my thoughts and would love to read your thoughts, too.