Corners - Wednesday quotes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two things I couldn't resist today: Orange tulips and new artwork

One thing that we have tried to teach our children is to "look back around the corner." It sounds strange but they have often heard this phrase. Although we stress working hard for good grades, I am more overjoyed when I receive a note from their teacher telling me that they observed one of my children showing compassion during school.

So when I say the phrase "look back around the corner" I mean to run a range of scenarios through their mind before judging another so they'll think before they speak; to see something that maybe others don't and go from there.
Maybe that disheveled kid at school has to get himself ready every morning because his exhausted parent(s) are working second jobs to make ends meet, maybe that girl who is always so negative in class has never had any positive reinforcement at home. You get the idea.

This is true for adults as well.

I remember when the area around my hometown was experiencing urban sprawl and quick growth and I was home to attend my dad's funeral. I was driving in a formerly familiar area but because of its growth, it became suddenly unfamiliar to me. I was following my brother to the viewing and the gloomy January sky loomed low and heavy on me.

While driving, my brother was quick to turn this way and that without much warning. He had a lot on his mind that day too but I was keeping up so it was no bother. But it did bother the person behind me and he let me know as I quickly flipped my turn signal and darted left into the convenience store where my brother needed to buy gasoline. The driver had to brake quickly and yelled at me as he couldn't make it through the stop light.

The day had just kicked me down and that guy was its final blow. At first I thought, "If he only knew..." and then the thought occurred to me that he really didn't know my situation but I didn't know his either. I was too consumed with my needs and wasn't looking back around the corner. Maybe he was having just as bad a day as me but we were dealing with it differently. Maybe he just lost his job, who knows. I felt embarrassed thinking that his priority at that moment was to make my day better. So I waved my arm in apology. He was still at the light and gave me a nicer wave back.

The other day my son was complaining about some kids at school who took over the younger boys' kickball game. I overheard my oldest daughter telling him that maybe that boy wasn't wanted in the older boys' game so with hurt feelings, he went to take over another game. Although not right, maybe that's what happened and next time he could invite him to play first.

So they have been listening.

That moment was a great reminder for me to do better at practicing what I preach because I'll be the first one to break my own rules. I am so far from perfect it's not even funny.

And I sometimes forget I have 5 pairs of eyes watching my daily interactions.

Some situations may call for something to be said but it depends on that situation, person and delivery. If I first stop and form those scenarios in my mind, it often results in realizing that what I may have wanted to say isn't that important after all.

Have a great Wednesday, peeps! I appreciate you.


  1. What a beautiful saying. I think I am going to try and start doing that better. I get so wrapped up in my stuff I think I seldom "look around the corner" and I feel ashamed!

    Thanks for such a beautiful post. And I am sorry for the loss of your father.

    Hope you enjoying a beautiful Spring day!

  2. Interesting post.
    It's a good reminder to all.

  3. Rachel,

    Thanks but don't be too hard on yourself! I don't mean to tell people to do these things. They're just things I run into and have to work on so I think maybe there are others out there??

    I wish it were a beautiful spring day here - weather related anyway!

    Thanks GOE!

  4. Gotta say, I simply adore the tulip picture. They are my fav... thats it...

  5. I totally agree. I believe that ability to relate to others and put yourself in their shoes is one of the most powerful lessons you can teach your children (and HARD). I appreciate you too!


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