A Tale of Two Girls
We all know that little things can be important as big things. And that little things add up. Look at the little things in your life, take inventory, and make changes in your life if necessary...
I met a little girl from Sweden last year. She came into our school speaking only a few words of English and no Spanish. She was a cute little thing, with long, blonde hair that fell into wavy curls around her shoulders. As the counselor, I expected to see a lot of her as she struggled to learn English and to fit into our international school setting.
Well, I was right and I was wrong. I saw a lot of her, but not for the reasons I had guessed. I had thought that she would come to me with frustrations and sadness. I thought she would be lonely and feel out of place. I was wrong. She came in with ideas and comments and sometimes even fiery complaints. This girl burst onto the scene with confidence and action. She picked up English faster than anyone I have ever met, and she wasn't timid about using it.
I marveled at her. She was and is an amazement to me.
Around the same time, I met another little girl from Venezuela. She also was a cute little thing with long legs and long dark hair to match. She could only speak a few words of English, although she jabbered quite happily in Spanish. As the counselor, I expected to see her occasionally as she worked to learn English.
Well, I was right and I was wrong. I saw her as she worked to learn English, but I saw her much more than occasionally. Everything was a struggle and a burden. This precious girl could not fit in, could hardly progress in learning English. She was afraid to use the few words she did understand.
The contrast struck me repeatedly. Now, I don't wish to sound simplistic, for it is always a bit dangerous to make comparisons. But I simply couldn't help but note the difference in the self-confidence levels between these two girls. Gretel walked tall, put one foot firmly in front of the other, spoke in an audible voice. Her very presence announced that here was someone to notice. Maria Jose walked slowly and with her head down. She whispered when she spoke, and often hid her face behind her hands.
Each girl reflected a very different level of happiness. (And their happiness was my business!)
I began to work with Maria Jose. We practiced walking with confidence, speaking out audibly, looking people in the eye. We practiced making mistakes (sounds silly, but we did!) and then laughing at ourselves afterwards. We practiced going into new situations with a smile.
And slowly, a change could be seen in Maria Jose. Her confidence level climbed along with her happiness level. We still have some work to do, but the difference has been startling.
As you think about my two friends, take a moment to reflect on yourself. How is your confidence level? How to do you walk? Is your head held high? Do you carry a look of pleasant expectancy? When you speak, are your words clear and easily understood? Do you look people in the eye? Is your handshake firm and friendly? Do you appreciate and accept yourself? Do you realize that you are a unique precious individual?
Little things. But we all know that these little things add up. Some small simple changes can add up to a large impact. So take a few moments to take inventory. Make adjustments as needed. Enjoy the change! Blessings on you and yours