There is no shortage of warning signs that serve to remind us of the dangers of falling off course–departing from our chosen route. They litter our roadways, sidewalks, and paths:
> Wrong Way
> Sharp Turn
> Watch Your Step
> Speed Bumps Ahead
> Mind the Gap
Vivid reminders that we may need to proceed with caution, change directions, or slow down–but most importantly, stay the course. Many of us have been fortunate enough to have those in our lives who have provided the support, guidance and encouragement needed to stay on the road–where ever it might lead. Others have had to go it alone (or with limited support), perhaps getting off-track, only to regroup and move on. Some don’t make it–falling off the road, and seemingly the face of the Earth.
As you begin the new year, consider those you work with (adults and students) and their chosen path. Do your actions help them stay the course, or knock them off the road? Do you demean and derail, or guide and encourage? For many, the path is narrow and the obstacles substantial. The small things will either push them forward, or knock them down. A kind word, a friendly gesture, positive actions…even a smile…may be the difference between perseverance and resignation.
Don’t underestimate your ability to be a beacon of hope and encouragement. Help others mind the gap.