This I Believe

After reading the book This I Believe with Kaitlyn two years back, I wrote my own essay outlining my beliefs. When Jacob was writing his this weekend, I revisited mine and found it to still be true today. If you've not written one of your own, why not give it a try; click here for details. It's basically a 300-500-word statement of what you believe. Kind of like your personal philosophy. An ideal, if you will. It's kind of a challenging essay to write. Maybe you already get a flavor for what I believe by what I post, but here are the three final paragraphs from my This I believe essay:

. . . I believe in living out loud, as if I were dying. That’s why I put as much into every day as I possibly can. I also believe that I must live what I encourage and be real. Having grown up as a farmer’s daughter in Wisconsin, I distinctly remember when milk started carrying the REAL® seal. No additives, nothing artificial. That little red seal indicated that milk was a wholesome, natural product. That campaign made a lasting impact on me. From then on, I’ve wanted people to know and be able to feel that, like fresh warm milk straight from a dairy cow, I’m for real. No additives, nothing artificial. What you see is what you get. 

I believe that relationships add relevance to life. I'm energized by connecting with people. I strive to make people feel special, like they’re my favorite, when they’re in my presence. I love to encourage and affirm. Sometimes that’s as easy as smiling at someone or calling him or her by name. Other times, it takes so much more. I've found that if I'm willing to listen, really listen, to people, they will share their stories with me. Listening is a valuable gift. I make professional connections by consulting and motivating. I enjoy inspiring colleagues in my high-energy, interactive workshops; I’m told my enthusiasm is contagious  I jump for joy at opportunities to mentor new counselors and share my passion for life and love, compassion and character.

This I believe: If I walk the talk, I model healthy choices not only in the lives of my own children and my students, but also for their parents, the community and the educators with whom I’m privileged to grow.

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