Last month after posting my blog I asked my wife what she thought of it. She replied, “meh”. I looked at her and said, meh? She followed with, “what happened to the emotion, people don’t want to hear the facts and figures of the school?” Her comment instantly took me back to a conversation I had over a year ago when I sought advice on writing my first blog from a local author, speaker, and blogger Rebecca Undem. (Mental note: it would sure be easier if I would stick to the great advice I receive rather than have to be reminded again with the same information from yet another source.)
It is a good thing that November is a new month for me to blog and make this one better than my last. OK, here goes.
One of my sons was having a tough afternoon several weeks ago. I asked him what was bothering him and he asked why he had to be the second shortest student in his class. My follow-up comment was the old saying that dynamite comes in small packages. He then asked whether I thought he would grow up to be a tall young man. I replied with, I wouldn’t count on it. Thinking that I resolved that challenge, I walked away. Several minutes later I found him crying and talking with his mom. When I approached, mom gave me the “great work” look and continued to console him. I asked my son if we could talk further and got down on one knee to be eye level. My advice to him was that he should not compare himself to others because that will only lead to more distress. I said that the only person he should ever compare himself to is whet
her he’s a better person today than he was yesterday. Also, I gave him an example of my own situation in relation to comparing myself to the previous Oakes Superintendent who stands nearly a half foot taller than me. I let him know that it would only cause me pain and not provide any benefit to allowing myself to be bothered by not being able to be as tall. He seemed to understand, gave me a hug, and went off to play with his siblings.
As I walked away I couldn’t help but think about the advice I had given my son. I also thought about the fact that it has been tough to not compare myself to my predecessor Mr. Johnson. He has been an inspiration to me and a superintendent of which I aspire to follow his great example. If I allow myself to compare, I always end up feeling worse thinking that I can’t measure up to his leadership qualities.
It is important for all of us to only compare how we are doing based on whether we have grown and are a better person today than we were yesterday. I believe that this is also a lesson that we can pass on to our children.
“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” Author Unknown
New York Times Best Selling author of six books, Jon Acuff, tweeted the following on November 7th, 2017:
With my first 280 character tweet I decided to expand the list of all the good things that happen when you compare yourself to other people online:
— Jon Acuff (@JonAcuff) November 8, 2017