"Caring is giving tender attention to the people and things that matter to us. It is being a compassionate witness, listening to another wholeheartedly and without judgment. We show that we care with thoughtful acts and kind words. When we do a careful job, we give it our best effort. We are not indifferent to things that matter. We care deeply about the principles we believe in. Caring is a sign of love. When we care for others, we notice how they feel and what they need. When we care for ourselves, we have more to give to others. Caring is a gift from the heart."
-excerpted with permission from Virtues Reflection Cards by Linda Kavelin Popov. http://virtuestraining.com/24_products
I recently heard from a high school math and science teacher who has been looking for and recognizing virtues in her students. Right before attending a Virtues Project staff workshop, she had learned that some of her trusted students had been shielding other students' disappointing and dishonest behavior. She was very honest with them in telling them about her disappointment.
"After school one of my kids, Joe, tracked me down and handed me a letter. Joe is a struggling student. His mother and I have had many talks trying to figure out how to help him. I am hoping to be able to get him to see the virtues within himself. I know that is the key. Here is some of what he wrote to me
'You told us how you felt you don't make a difference, but what you don't realize is you do, every day. You show us that you care when you spend time to try to get us to do our work, you are there for us when we need you to be, you are always telling us that you don't want us to make poor decisions and I know it is because you care You are a great teacher, and even more you are a wonderful person. Your place is here at the school to help the ones who will let you and get through to as many more as you can You are a miracle to people. You have changed the way I think about things (for the better). I believe you are here to make a change, and you have shown me through your actions that it's true We need you, I need you, and remember that you do make a difference.' Joe
"I know that it is the virtues I see in him that makes him feel this way. I know it is the virtues I see in all my kids that gives me the strength to continue to come back here day after day and do whatever I can to get them to see themselves as I do. Thank you for teaching me about the virtues and giving me the tools to continue to do this with my kids. This has truly been a blessing in my life and I will never forget it."*
Questions for reflection:
How do I show that I care with thoughtful acts and kind words?
What are the principles I deeply care about?
How do I give my best efforts to my job?
How am I caring for myself today?
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