Step Off the Porch

Have you ever tried to convey your point to someone and failed miserably? Or vent about something, and another person totally gets it?๐Ÿ™Œ Every day? Yep! There are so many divisive topics floating around lately.

We’re all coming at this life with viewpoints colored by our experiences. We can’t help ourselves. What seems ๐Ÿ™ƒ complicated to one person feels like a ๐ŸŽgift to another. Take my recent blog post about no compensation for unused sick days when I retired for a light-hearted example. Some folks knew precisely where I was coming from, recognizing that I valued the benefit of having sick days while lamenting that I had so many leftovers.โœ… Others felt that I overlooked having sick days to use.โŒ Hear me when I say that I understand my good fortune.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป My words came from my experiences. I appreciate people who couldn’t see my point because they’d love to have any paid sick days. Been there- I get you! I can count on my fingers and toes how many days off my husband has had since 2022 started, and it’s June!๐Ÿ˜ณ Forget sick days. He’d love an entire weekend every now and then. That’s one reason our recent trip to Utah was so important. Time off for him.

People also assume that the word retire means not working. In my case, that isn’t true. Retiring from teaching is just shifting gears.๐ŸšŒ Education people know that retirement means you’ve worked enough years to draw a ๐Ÿ’ฐpension, which you cannot draw if you continue to teach. Work will still be part of my life. I’m not that old.๐Ÿ˜‚ We have a kid starting college. Retiring simply means changing. And, yes- compensation from those sick days would have been helpful. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Everything goes through a personal ๐Ÿงlens. We see things based on our reference points. We can’t help ourselves. That has to be our first ๐Ÿ‘€look. Here’s where I see the problem. We can’t stop there. Our viewpoints and experiences are valid. The problem is thinking that ours are the only ones that matter. Take a ๐Ÿ‘€look around. Too many of us are staying on our own ๐Ÿกporches, so to speak. We must venture down the steps and walk all the way to some new territories. Yes- even those unfamiliar territories.๐Ÿ’• Especially the unfamiliar territories. ๐Ÿ’•That’s where we will be challenged. ๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸปThat’s where we might learn what life looks like for others. ๐Ÿค”That’s where empathy has a chance to take root.๐Ÿ˜

How about stepping off the ๐Ÿกporch? Let’s be open to asking questions and learning something outside of our own experiences. Of course, there will still be disagreements in this world, but we will at least understand a little better. That, my friends, is a step in the right direction.๐Ÿ’–

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