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Judge Less...Listen More...

Happy Sunday Educators! By now you may have gotten back into the swing of things or still trying to align with your routine. Coming back after a break is challenging and at times, the only solace is knowing that my return ensures that the next break is on the horizon😊. Whatever eases the ache right?

A question I was asked recently was, what is your word for 2020? I landed on curiosity. Even prior to the New Year, I felt that I was in a season of practicing a suspension of my opinion and perception long enough to create space for differing perspectives from mine. Remaining in this place is not always comfortable and does require a sacrifice of the ego from time to time as I let go of the need to ensure that my viewpoint is heard and that all of the understanding and knowledge that I believe I have on a topic is allowed to remain unspoken.

I have come to the conclusion that even with a terminal degree, I truly do not know everything about anything.

It is only through choosing to hear the perspectives, knowledge, and insights of others that I truly become a well-rounded individual who can draw valid conclusions by considering differing frames of thought. Going into this year, I’ve decided to fully embrace the idea that the world is vastly larger than my paradigm, my beliefs, and my approach. It is possible that the beliefs that I have held for quite some time may benefit from a well-founded challenge. It is also quite possible that another’s perspective that I’ve never considered, could hold the same validity as does mine.

In a world where there appears to be a preponderance of opposites and warring opinions, is there a space of peace where all parties can reside while remaining true to who they are? I would offer that the idea of incorporating a high degree of attentive listening without judgment, while holding a beautiful space of empathy, can create sparks of hope and light that we all wish to experience in the interactions we engage in. Who doesn’t want to feel fully heard without fear of judgment? Who doesn’t want to be fully accepted with all of the diversity in thought and action that is brought? Who doesn’t want to be in a place where they can be 100% authentic without fear of ridicule? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t.

What I’d like to offer is that what we want, we can create and as we create these spaces for others, we inadvertently create them for ourselves. Who in your life would benefit more if you chose to listen more and suspend judgment this year? Whose story might you hear that you may not have had the opportunity prior? What student(s) could benefit? Who in your family might need you to show up in this way? If you’re thinking…well, I need people to show up that way for me! I would say…I hear you and I get it because we all need it and when we don’t receive it, we feel it and it wears on us. Let me step out on a limb and say that I believe that what we give out the most, we begin to get back. If we can begin to focus on creating loving, accepting spaces without judgment for others, I am certain that life will return the same to us. How about we try it out this year and see what happens? How about we start today?

BTW…let’s not treat this like a drive by RTI process where we talk about an intervention, try it once, and decide it doesn’t work. We all know this faulty approach far too well. Change takes time so let’s afford a bit of it and see what feedback we receive. Remember, judge less…listen more. It’s what we all need more of.

In Solidarity and Love,


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