The other day our D.A.R.E officer asked my class a question. It was a deep, out of the blue, hit you in the heart type of question. It let my class, and myself, silent. She asked, “How do you want to be remembered?”
You could sense all of our minds churning and thinking- How do I want to be remembered? Who will remember me? Positive or Negative. Who am I to the outside eye? How would my family, friends, or enemies remember me, do I have enemies?
I sat back and let that question soak in. In my mind I want to be remembered for being honest, equal, understanding, loving, and passionate. I want to be remembered for always being open to others thoughts or opinions. I want to leave a lasting positive impression on one’s mind when they hear my name, but that is what I want. That is not their perspective.
I then reflected on why I would deserve to be remembered for that. I mail letters to friends, family, and students monthly with supportive words of encouragement, gift cards, and reasons why I love them.that makes me loving and understanding, right? Others see that , right? That is my outlook and reflection of my actions, but that is only my perspective.
I call my friends, I go to siblings sporting events and tell them why I am proud of them. I actively try to compliment others, and reach out and tell my coworkers and students praise. I want them all to know that I believe in them- that makes me loving and kind, right? Or do others see that as annoying and bothersome?
I eat lunch with my students, ask about their family, get them supplies, reach out to them, hug them, get to know them. I am getting my Masters to better my profession and teaching for my students and self. I go in early. I do Girls on the Run, I help with Character Council, I go into school each day with a clean slate and open mind, for the most part-that makes me passionate and understanding, right? Or does that make me a workaholic?
I let others take their anger out on me, even if it kills me inside. That makes me understanding, right? Or does that make me a push over, and next time I should stand up for my friends, boyfriend, and myself, right?
When it comes to how they treat my family and friends though, that is a different story. When something similar happened to my best friend, I used well worded phrases and words to get my point across. When my sister was being made fun of for her looks, those kids heard my mind. When I saw a bully at recess in fourth grade, it got me sent to the principal’s office, but I couldn’t stand by and watch that happen. This all makes me protective and loving, right? Or does this make me too involved in others problems?
I put my heart into everything I do. My dad calls me ‘Texas’ because if I am really passionate about something, I won’t back down. He often says to others, “You’re about to fight Texas, you’re going to lose!” Positively or negatively, I don’t back down- that makes me passionate right? But if I let it get to me- sometimes that makes me too honest and too passionate, right?
I take home my students worries with me, I try and solve all problems myself- my students, my friends, my families, my own. If someone needs help, I won’t quit until we get it down. I put their burden on my shoulders, won’t quit, and am hard on myself if I can’t solve it. II put others in front of me and sometimes I let it mentally exhaust me- that makes me passionate and understanding, right? Or does that make me overbearing and suffocating?
How I will be remembered is through the perspective of others eyes. I am not in control of how others interpret my personality and actions, but I can try my best to help their interpretations be a positive one. I won’t be a positive name to all, but I can be a positive name to most. I can continue bettering myself, while building up those around me. I want to be remembered for being that person who is always positive, understanding, open, loving, equal, and passionate, but that is not up to me, it is up to them.
I tell my students daily, “People won’t remember what you said or did to them in years to come, but they will remember how you made them feel.” I hear my kids quote it in papers, to others, and a kid even said it as his response to our officer, but how are we remembered by others. Is it negative or positive? How do we help shape others perspectives? By our actions and words, and by their own outlook on us.
How do you want to be remembered?