Like you, I communicate a lot. As a building principal, an educator, and a professional, my words matter. My tone matters. What I say and how I say it matters to my students, my colleagues, and our community. It should. And yet, I know I still stumble.
Fortunately, I work within a school and a school community with people who understand the power of forgiveness. My colleagues hold me accountable in professional ways when I inadvertently offend someone. They seek clarification. They give me the benefit of the doubt. They forgive me.
Perhaps forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we have and can give to someone else? Forgiveness allows us to make mistakes and to grow from them. Forgiveness gives us permission to take some needed risks while knowing we will have the support from others if we fail. Forgiveness helps us move forward.
Our students, of course, learn about forgiveness from adults. They're watching to see how we handle controversy and struggles. Forgiveness is just one gift we can teach them.
I'm not saying I or anyone should have "free passes" because of forgiveness from others. No, I am simply very grateful for what people, colleagues, and others provide me when I make a mistake.
How can I repay or recognize this gift? The best way to is to learn from my mistakes, try to do better, and pay it forward by forgiving others.
As we move towards a new year I resolve to do better when I communicate, but I also resolve to forgive more.
In this holiday season, who have you forgiven lately?