I’m writing this amid the screaming of airplanes over my head from Toronto’s Airshow. Why we still “celebrate” this tradition when we have thousands of people living here from war-torn countries is beyond me. But I already wrote about that.
I wanted to write about Serena Williams’ catsuit debacle. It’s a classic example of how we can see things completely differently depending on who is involved – white woman wears long pants and sleeves in a jumpsuit style for tennis? No problem. Black female super athlete wears the same? Not appropriate. It could be because of her skin colour or her body type. Or both. Either way, it continues to amaze me how we don’t see our bias even in the face of proof. Missed it? Here’s a taste.
What I am thinking about today is the first day of school and what it might mean for so many people.
Lots of Feelings
Some kids are starting for the first time ever or starting at a new school. They may be nervous, scared, excited, or all of the above.
Kids returning will bring their experiences from last year to their first day – are they looking forward to seeing friends or arming themselves against bullying, sneers, exclusion, feeling invisible?
Kids who learn differently might be heading to school steeled for the uphill climb. Kids who find school easy may be wishing for an extra challenge.
If your child is going to university they may have already done orientation and are heading into classes with the same menu of feelings as above, plus some will be away from home for the first time and loving it, some homesick, some ambivalent.
And not just for the kids…
Some parents will be dropping their kids off and doing a little dance of joy that summer is over. Others may be experiencing anxiety about leaving their child for their very first day. And others may have a mix of emotions.
And then teachers – some will be excited about what the new school year holds. Others may be dreading tomorrow’s bell.
You get the idea.
Generally speaking if we are having a negative experience we know that others are possibly having a good one and we see the difference. If we are having a positive experience, however, life is good and it’s easy to assume everyone is having the same.
So…if you have kids in your life, no matter what may be happening in your household, take a moment to see more.
If you don’t have kids you likely have co-workers who do and who may be arriving to work wanting to celebrate, feeling frazzled, or wanting to sit at their desk and cry. You may be tempted to use YOUR experience of the first day of school to build a bridge. Take an extra moment to see more so that you can actually connect.