Thursday, May 26, 2011

An Open Letter to the Kid in the Principal’s Office

Dear Kid,

Today you had an idea that went awry. Obviously, this is not how you thought things would turn out when you had that idea, said that thing, made that joke. Or maybe you knew that this is exactly where you would end up but you couldn’t help yourself, you just had to do it, try it, say it, anyway.

If this is your first time sitting here you are probably sweating it out a little, worried that everyone is mad at you, afraid of what your parents will do when they find out. If this is not your first time you are probably feeling all that and more. You might be mad at the teacher who sent you here. You might feel embarrassed, angry and hurt … and probably a little dumb for getting yourself in a bit of hot water again. But let me tell you a little secret, this won’t be the last mistake you ever make!

As you grow and mature you will make tons of mistakes, some will land you right back where you are now, others no one but you will ever know about. You will say and do things that are thoughtless, that seem like a good idea at the time, things that you hope will make you liked, popular and cool. Sometimes a wave of stupidity will over take you and other times you will wind up in a mess and have no idea how you got there. It’s life, Baby, and it happens to all of us.

Look around you right now, every grown up you see has been in trouble just like you. They have all made bad decisions, have hurt someone’s feelings and have had to face the consequences. Their mistakes are not all in the past, some are in the present and many more are in the future, just waiting to happen. Everyone makes mistakes and has to deal with the fall out afterwards but the funny thing is we all survive and if we are smart, we’ll probably learn something along the way.

That’s the important part, the learning. How you handle yourself after you walk out of the principal’s office, what you choose to hear and learn from while you are in there; that will be the deciding factor on the kind of person you will become. You can decide to be angry and blame other people for the mess you are in or you could decide to face the music, learn and make amends. Some famous smart guy once said that the only real mistakes are the ones we don’t learn from.

When you walk out of here today, you are going to feel embarrassed, nervous and maybe a little ashamed. Hold your head up, apologize and move on. Don’t let the anger over take you, don’t get a chip on your shoulder. Make the amends you need to make but do not where this mistake as a badge of shame. Don’t let it define you. You are not a bad kid. You tried something dumb and you made a mistake. That’s it.

Chin up, Champ. You are smart, talented and have a lot to offer … just keep learning and striving to be better tomorrow than you are today and you’ll turn out just fine!

1 comment:

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

The trick is to get him to read this post. :)