On these beautiful spring and summer mornings, I love to be out early walking with my dog Ruby. You can hear the birds chirping, feel the morning dew, and just have some quiet time during the day. I noticed this beautiful Mountain Laurel plant, in a clearing near where I live. There are other sections and clearings that have big clusters of these beautiful flowering bushes, but in this one there was just the one plant.
Why is this one on its own? Why does it stand out amongst all the other plants? So much taller? As I gazed at it, admiring its beauty it made me think a little bit about our work as school leaders. Sometimes we need to stand alone. Sometimes we need to stand up tall for what we believe in, whether it is advocating for a certain program to be funded, defending the actions of a staff member, or standing tall for an injustice or inequality in our school or community. Don’t be afraid to stand tall or stand alone at times. There is comfort and security within the pack, and yes it is good to collaborate and see what others are doing, but don’t be afraid to stand on your own.
I wrote about my friend Kevin Spainhour, principal at West Stokes High School in King, North Carolina, several weeks ago, and the experience I had buying my first car with him and his dad. Another learning experience I’d like to share was a time in college. We had an up-and-coming band at our school called Vertical Horizon. I loved their music and the whole experience. Near the end of the show, they played a slow love song and the crowd swayed back-and-forth singing along. Kevin decided to take his girlfriend’s hand, Laura Haynes (now Laura Spainhour!), and jumped up onto the stage to dance. For those few seconds, it was just the two of them dancing on stage, next to the band. The crowd went wild and shortly there afterward many others followed. Yet at that moment it was Kevin, his girl, and his confidence standing on that stage. It was a beautiful moment and reminded me way back then, not be afraid to stand out sometimes.
There are many of these moments in our lives and careers. Look for them. Look to stay, and talk, and make decisions. Look to stand tall for others, and sometimes you might be doing this alone. The dancing on the stage might be easy to some, for others a more difficult decisions to make. You’re strong enough and confident enough to do so. Take a look at the beauty of that flower standing alone in the forest. It sure is beautiful!
I hope you’re enjoying your summer and getting some well-deserved rest. #KeepRolling
|Quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr.|