Today I took a walk.
It was short and it really didn’t do much to improve my physical fitness. But it was during the middle of the day. That special time of the day when the sun usually begins to make itself known.
And today was no different. I walked a short loop around my neighborhood that was less than a mile. Walking in one direction the sun was at my back and walking the other direction the sun was in my face.
I have taken walks like this many times before and yet today was different. Today I noticed something. And once I did, I began to wonder why I had never noticed it before.
Today I noticed that the sun felt warmest when it was at my back. Not when it was in my face. This seemed odd to me. It had always thought the opposite would have been true. But it’s not.
The next time you have the opportunity to walk into and away from the sun, pay careful attention. I think you will find my observation to be accurate. Furthermore, I think you find the same to be true in life.
Each and every one of us experiences moments when we feel as if we are walking into darkness. Or we are walking away from the light. Oftentimes in our profession we are called upon to walk into situations that are very difficult. And it is during these times that we especially need someone to be the sun on our backs. To provide us the warmth and the comfort we need as we are walking away from the light and into the darkness.
We must always remember that as educators it is our job to shine a light on those around us as often as possible. And I know that we do. I see it each and every day.
But we must also remember that, just like the sun, our warmth and our encouragement and our light will be felt most when others have their backs to us. They may not even know that we are the ones providing that sense of comfort for them. More often still, they may not even be able to appreciate the warmth that we are sending their way.
Do it anyway!
In the end, we all have paths we must travel down that appear to have no light. And there are times that we must travel down them alone. But once in a while, we are pleasantly surprised, when someone shines a ray of light behind us to help us find our way.
It feels warm.
It feels good.
And we never forget it.
We must remember, there is nothing stopping that ray of light from being us.
So let’s shine away!