How To Succeed in Inspiring Another Without Really Trying


report card

Like in all of life, there is a flow to how we spend our days. Christmas break is over and the children are back in school and the routine of getting up early and going to bed earlier has once again begun. It is so easy to go through the motions and lose sight of being present. I find I have to remind myself to stay awake through it all, paying attention to the opportunities for inspiration and growth.

My 5th grader brought home her report card the other day, making A/B honor roll for the second quarter in a row and receiving certificates for perfect attendance and being a leader in reader achievement. This is important because she has struggled with reading and language processing from the beginning. Though she hasn’t been specifically tested for this particular diagnosis I’m fairly certain she is dyslexic.

I remember when my older daughter would come home with good grades and I was proud of course, but it was more of an expectation for her. She caught on quickly and things were easier for her. I was frankly only taken off guard if she didn’t do well. (At nearly 19, she still resents this a bit)

But for my youngest child, this success comes with battle scars and is hard won. She is prevailing despite her learning differences, and despite the naysayers. It is because of her determination and the extra hours she spends trying to get through her assignments that I am so proud and grateful.

Of course, like many a proud momma, I post this on my personal facebook page and many on my friends’ list click the “like” button and a select few post a simple comment. One acquaintance who I haven’t actually spoken to in quite some time posted a comment about her own struggle with dyslexia and her subsequent successful career. She is a physician’s assistant and I had no idea she, too, had a learning difference.

I showed this to my youngest child and she grinned from ear to ear. There is a long list of successful people who struggled with learning disabilities, but this comment came from a non celebrity, someone within our own circle, and so that makes it seem more real. It was an unexpected boost, a thumbs- up inspiration to keep plodding along, doing her best, and we both took it to heart.

A grade school report card is only one measure of success and many would argue I shouldn’t make too much of it either way. But I think it’s important to recognize achievement in any area where someone does their very best.  We all have value. We all have a multitude of gifts to share. It doesn’t take much effort to recognize and boost each other up.

Sometimes, spoken from the heart, even the smallest casual gestures can make you a hero.

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