A Powerful Challenge

November 3, 2011

Every once in a while, we experience a day on the job that is memorable, and one of a kind. I experienced that type of day today. At the school I work at, a representative from Colorado spoke about a program called Rachel’s Challenge.

In case you do not know what Rachel’s Challenge is, I will explain. It goes back to the unfortunate school shooting event at Columbine High School. Rachel was one of the students killed. She stood out because after her death, much information was found and shared about the wonderful contributions she had made, the hospitality she showed, and her mission to bring happiness and kindness to everyone she came in contact with. Her family decided to honor her by continuing the contributions she had already made and sharing her positive message with as many people as they could.

The individual that came to our school today spends her time traveling the country sharing the message with schools. The goal is to use this example to create a positive, caring environment. I will say that my school certainly needs this. I was very happy to have this program at my school because I have been praying on a regular basis for some type of positive influence in the school. It’s a great place, but is unfortunately infested with much negativity between students, teachers and students, and worse, teachers and teachers. I saw today’s visit as an answered prayer, as now our school is taking major steps to instill this much needed positivity.

I now share this challenge with those close to me, and anyone reading. With this challenge are five guidelines to showing the same kindness and love that Rachel did. They are:

  • Looking for the best in others. Everyone, no matter how many mistakes they’ve made, has something good about them. The key is to look for it, then focus on it.
  • Treat others as you want to be treated. This rule is “golden”
  • Stick with positive influences. There are so many negative influences out there. We need to be aware of who we allow to influence us. Rachel was influenced by Ann Frank and Martin Luther King. Find positive influences to follow and continue their example.
  • Use positive words only. Sticks and stones will break bones. You think names can never harm? Negative words can scar worse than any broken bone. Positive words can change someone’s life in a matter of seconds. Which influence do you want to be?
  • Forgive yourself and others. We all make mistakes. We have choices. We can allow those mistakes to drag us down. Or we can learn from them and let them go. When we let them go, we release the burdens that prevent us from loving ourselves and others.

As you can see this is not an easy challenge. However, it is definitely doable. I challenge myself and anyone else to do all we can to be this type of person. One who treats others (and ourselves) well, finds only the best in others, and does all they can to make this world a better place.

In the presentation they talked about causing a chain reaction of positive events. By following this example, we can cause a chain reaction of positive events and impacts on the world around us. If I died tomorrow, that’s what I would want to be remembered by. Would you take this challenge today and make your world a better place? If more people did this, our world would be so much more positive. Thank you Rachel for this wonderful model of life.


Life Is Awesome!

August 11, 2011

Sounds ironic, but I have to agree with my own title! I say this at a time where my life is very good. Nothing really great going on, though nothing really bad. 

I am finding more and more, however, that life is as great as we make it. The more “awesome” we believe it is, the more I believe we will see the reality of that.

Here’s a little activity I sometimes use in my Spanish classes. I take a word, then have my students use the letters in that word to form other related words. I came up with this one. We’ll stick to English for now. It’s the word “awesome” and reasons why life is just that. Please feel free to play along:

Awesome God!!

Wonderful blessings

Every day is a new opportunity

Sins are completely forgiven

Opportunity  – the opportunities we have in life are limitless.

My family

Excellence – God’s excellence is all around us.

Ok, so I cheated a bit and added some words. It’s ok, it’s my game anyway.

I challenge anyone else to play this word game. The more important thing to reflect on is the abundant good we all have. Some have more, some have less, but if one looks hard enough they can find it. Please enjoy the excellence in your world 

God Bless!!