What would happen…

In 2009 there was the epic holiday poem on Blogush.
In 2010 there was the epic song parody.
In 2011 I received this gift that is preventing me from doing anything epic…I am warning you, the picture of the gift is a bit graphic and can be seen here.

So for 2011 I am going to resort to a a cut and paste of something that I wrote for the parents of my kids.  I think it is a good reminder for all of us as we start a new calendar year.

In a few days many people will start working on new year resolutions.  They will find something they hate about themselves, something they are weak in, something that bugs them, something they want to change, and make a resolution to become different.  Maybe instead of trying to change, we should ask what do we like about ourselves and the people around us.  What is that thing that brings you joy? What is that strength that gives life to those around you?  What is that thing that makes your kids smile? What is it about your kids that makes your spirit shine?  Maybe we should resolve to not focus on our weaknesses, but to focus on our and other’s strengths.What would happen if for one year we resolved to focus on using one of our strengths?  What would happen if for one year we resolved to focus on finding others strengths? …what would happen?

We have become a society obsessed with becoming better, faster, more beautiful.  A society obsessed with buying self-help guides to make us happy, thinner, better parents.  We worry that we are too strict, too lenient, too kind, too mean.  As the No Child Left Behind law rumbles through our schools our kids are under increasing pressure to constantly be in a state of self-improvement.  With laser like focus we assess to find their weaknesses, and then spend days trying to fix them.  Sometimes we end up looking at our kids and seeing only their weaknesses, we only see what needs to be improved.

After spending four months with your children we have to say that we are impressed and amazed everyday at their strengths.  Their determination and perseverance, their courage and grit, their kindness and selflessness, their creativity and thoughtfulness.  Those are qualities that we cannot teach in four months, they came to us with those and many others.  So as we come to the end of 2011, we would like to extend to all of our parents a big thank-you for sending us an incredible bunch of kids, and would like to offer you and your family best wishes for 2012.  The next time you see your kid, give them a big hug, and remember all that is good and strong in them…because you all have a lot to be thankful for.

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