Updated: May 19, 2021
"Showing gratitude is one of the simplest, yet most powerful things humans can do for one another." ~ Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
When I decided to pursue my career as a writer, I quickly began to gauge the similarities between being a writer and being a teacher.
As a teacher, there were countless days and weeks that I would tirelessly go into the classroom, give it my all, and come home each day and week and think “Do they even hear me? Are they even learning what I’m trying to teach them? Am I reaching them?”
It would be an endless cycle, and each weekend I would feel defeated, think my efforts were futile, but I would keep on going because I knew in my heart that this was what I was meant to do with my life at the time.
Then one day out of nowhere, when I least expected it, I’d have a student come up to me and say, “That writing assignment really helped me, Ms. Barot.” Or I’d get an email from a former student telling me how grateful they were that I taught them how to annotate properly. And I would breathe a sigh of relief and literally tear up with so much joy in my heart because I was getting confirmation that I WAS helping these kids. I WAS doing something good for the world. I was being of service.
I've always felt being a teacher was similar to being a parent because you don't do the job or have kids because you are looking to get a thank you or be rewarded with accolades and praise. We do the job because we want to give something greater to this world, be of service, and help others.
We know that when we do the work, teach or raise our kids the best we know how, that maybe one day, we will get confirmation that what we did was not in vain, that we did right by what is our soul’s purpose. These last few weeks reminded me of those days as a teacher, as I questioned my usefulness and productivity as a writer in this world. I wasn’t sure if anyone was even reading my writing.
Was I even helping anyone? Are my good intentions going to reach anyone? I knew writing wasn’t going to be a winning lottery ticket, but if I knew somehow that what I was writing was helping people, then that would make up for all the other deficits.
I had been really wondering if I was doing the right thing or just wasting time and I asked God to help me. I was intuitively guided to write my most recent post “Baby Steps are Still Steps Forward” on Sunday, as soon as I woke up. The words just flew out and I had no intention of writing a post that morning, but when the words just leap from brain to paper, I knew I had to put it out there.
Whether it would be seen or read by anyone, I didn’t know. But I had hoped that it would help, encourage or comfort someone who needed to hear it. I do believe that when I’m guided to write on a topic or subject matter, it’s because I’m supposed to, and then the rest I just let go. So when I got my first comment later that day on Facebook, and more comments came through, responding to my writing, I got emotional. I was so overjoyed that I did reach someone. I did help, and that my writing was serving a purpose. And I felt that a prayer had been answered.
And isn’t that truthfully what we all want? Just to be seen and heard in this chaotic, masked world. No pun intended, but intended?! Lol. We all just want to be seen, even for a moment.
I, like many of you out there, don't want constant praise and compliments, but every now and again when you know that you are heard, it warms your heart and brings you happiness. Those lovely, thoughtful responses were my compensation for a job right now that doesn’t pay in dollars, but pays in kindness and joy. And I’m so grateful. So I THANK ALL OF YOU.
The next time you tell a parent, grandparent, nurse or teacher, or anyone for that matter, thank you, watch how quickly that kindness and appreciation grows and spreads like wildflowers. I know because I saw a whole field on Sunday.
This one was written for all the teachers and parents who go unnoticed. I see you. And I thank you for all that you do.
Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing your heart with me.
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