Friday, February 2, 2018

Insight: A humble lesson learned from a middle school assembly by Lorraine Glowczak

There are many reasons why I find my position as editor of The Windham Eagle so enjoyable. But the one thing I enjoy a great deal is the many opportunities I get in meeting interesting people and attending fascinating events. 
Often, there are a few things I also get to learn and apply to my own life along the way.
This past Monday, I had the privilege of attending the Jordan-Small Middle School’s all school assembly established by the young members of the school’s Civil Rights Team. The presentation was entitled, “The Power of Words” (see front page article,

Although the presentation was geared toward the fifth through eight grade students, there were teachings shared that day that many adults could learn, as well. 

It is my experience that we tend to edit ourselves in terms of bias-based language, we still lack civil
discourse as well as the respect and honor that go with it. Especially when it comes to those with whom we do not see eye-to-eye.

Perhaps it is human nature to learn slowly, but even as we are in full swing of the 21st Century, we still don’t seem to have a grasp on how our words and actions can harm, destroy and bully others.

I don’t know why this is, but it seems to have become common place to speak one’s mind without thought of respect and throwing words of animosity around, explaining it away as, “telling it like it is.”

Where did we get the idea that being civil does not “tell it like it is?” One can express a truth with encouraging and courteous words that offer a solution and compromise. Intimidation and bullying are not necessary. We are adults, right?

When I have questions such as these, I apply them to myself. I must admit that from time to time in a few passionate conversations – whether with my significant other, co-workers or friends – my voice raises, and I slip into using intimidating words to get my opinion across.

But what good is this? Who is going to listen and want to understand my point of view if I appear and act intimidating?

Clinical Psychologist, Randi Gunther warns, “Physical scar tissue loses its elasticity and its flexibility. Emotional scar tissue is painfully similar.”  We always think about our own scars that we accuse others of creating in us, but never the scars we create in others. 

I have learned so much while busy working as a small-town journalist and I hope to continue to do so. But what has surprised me the most is how much I have learned about myself. I don’t always get the lessons immediately and when I do, I fail more than I succeed. But it is my hope that in the awareness of such, I will be less of a pain to be around. I know my husband would appreciate it.

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