I haven’t checked into my WordPress account for the past week. That is good. It means I have been busy enough to keep me off my computer. When I logged in to my feed today, I scrolled past the last few days of One Word Prompts. Today’s word is bitter. My mind immediately went to several situations at school that are filled with bitterness. A lack of awareness, an apparent inability to connect, and excuses for inattentiveness have caused intense, intense bitterness. There are bad feeling amongst employees, between parents, between staff and parents, pretty much between everyone right now. I keep thinking we have nipped it and moved on and then it rears its head again. Bitterness is really hard to get rid of. It lingers, it feeds on itself, and it grows out of control when it isn’t directly addressed.
Was it totally ironic that today’s word is bitter and two days ago the word was better? Just one letter changed but what a significant difference in how those words make me feel. So, how do you go from bitter to better.
I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks about taking care of others that might makes things better.
Listening is imperative. Not just sitting through the conversation but thinking about what the words mean when the come from a certain person. Finding the source and not relying on the ones who are just fueling the fire. And knowing that sometimes all you need to say it, “I hear you”.
Being aware is necessary. Sometimes we learn more by just watching the way others behave. Observing actions and interactions can sometimes tell you more than a face to face conversation with words.
Spending time together is critical. Relationships are built on common experiences. If you don’t make the time to be together, there is no bedrock. It doesn’t have to be fancy time – just ordinary common experiences; eating lunch together, sorting library books, going through the lost and found pile, going on a field trip.
And finally, emails do not take the place of a conversation, phone calls do not take the place of a hug, and good intentions do not take the place of being wholly present. Perhaps these are ways we can get better.