I paused before writing this post as the news announced a shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. This is a private Presbyterian school tucked away with a winding road leading to it. The school is attached to the church, and the complex is beautiful from the pictures. However, those looking back as they were stretched out hand by hand, leaving the school, can only see fear, terror, and sadness.
My continued prayers are for this community and the families who have lost their children and loved ones. The political debates started immediately before any of the factual details were provided. We hear the same things repeated each time a tragedy of this magnitude occurs; however, it does not address the solutions needed.
Take some time to check on your family, friends, and co-workers today. If you have not spoken to someone in a while, see how they are doing. We need to help each other,ourselves, and seek all the healing we need from the many things we have all been through the past few years. Put down devices and have face-to-face conversations. Go and see people. We need to connect with others.
The Two Rules system has an overarching framework for solving problems. The first question I always asked students who came to me was, “Do you want to be part of the problem, or do you want to be part of the solution?” Students always answered that they wanted to be part of the solution. The Two Rules were the tools they could use to arrive at solutions: When two students had been in a fight, I would ask each of them, “When you hit Damien, did you feel safe? Did Damien feel safe?” and “When you hit Damien, did you feel good? Did Damien feel good?” Those two questions always led to more questions.
I told students that the Two Rules would help them become better leaders. We tend to think of leaders as people in suits who run companies or governments. But I told students that everyone is the leader of their own life. I would remind them of the ways that parents were leaders by choosing bedtimes, choosing what to serve for dinner, choosing how the family did its morning routine to get each member ready for their day. Then I would tell students that they were leaders right now. They were making choices every day that influenced the quality of their lives and of the people around them. I wanted my students to know they didn’t have to wait to be leaders. They were already leaders who had the power to make good decisions.
When we help children see choice as their power, they can begin to utilize the steps of problem-solving we show them in making choices to support them better. Cause and effect is a skill that is so important to comprehend in our academic world, but also real life. Connect these worlds by adding Two Rules to the process. Begin by adding Two Rules today with the students you serve.
Before you say or before you do, stop and ask yourself some critical questions. Will this make me or others feel good? Will this make me or others feel safe? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then do not say or do.
My thoughts are usually those of inspiration, motivation, and spirituality. Today my thoughts are on a few words. I think of hope, education, address, recognition, and treatment (HEART).
I hope for all of our children to find ways to help them feel good and safe at school and in life.
Education needs to collaborate with home, school, and community in order to build a framework of support to wrap around the children to meet all of their needs.
Address all of the issues we face today, not only in schools but in our society overall, with the need for mental healthcare, drug and alcohol treatment, and helping our citizens find purpose in working together.
Recognize the real needs uncovered by these horrific events. We have shortages in many areas which need plans to help reduce our deficits. We need to look at the cause and effect, meeting basic needs and overall health of all.
Treatment for individuals and families is needed. Our support systems have cracked, and we must repair them to have a solid foundation. Our schools should have treatments to be highly secured facilities as if they were all housing the President of the United States. Some of them do have future ones in them!
It is the HEART of what we do to be the solution for those who need us today.