Either, or…

If I were to wish for anything I should not wish for wealth or power, but for the passionate sense of what can be, for the eye, which ever young and ardent, sees the possible.”                  -Søren Kierkegaard

I choose optimism. I choose to see in others and in the world around me the possibility of greatness, little and big.

In more than twenty years in public education I’ve seen tragedy up close. I’ve seen meanness and cruelty, unrecoverable mistakes, and years ruined in the decision of a minute.

And… My heart bruised, but not breaking, beats with the belief that all will be well. Even in the dark moments, when the world smells like hot metal and snakes, I believe that hope, that thing with feathers, perches on my soul.

As a school principal it is as vital for me to see the best in my school as it was for me as a teacher to believe in the best in each of my students.

The payoff is high expectations that those around me consistently rise to to; the alternative is cynicism, depression, or that attitude of let’s get through this that sinks ships and damns possibility with faint praise.

The praise I offer is real and heartfelt. If sometimes I have to travel a little farther to find it than I would for something to complain about, it’s a trek worth making.

Because in more than twenty years in public education I’ve seen profound joy up close. I’ve seen kindness and compassion, unbelievable achievements, and lives transformed in the decision of a minute.

My heart beating almost to bursting with hope, I know that in its way, and in its own time, all will be well. I know that with so many of us working together for something so important, amazing good is more than possible.

I couldn’t wish for more.