Have you ever had a summer cold? Happens to me every year! This year, it seems particularly awful! I’ve been feeling miserable for days and even more so because I had to cancel plans with my Book Club on Friday AND give up the opportunity to go see Ed Sheeran on Saturday! We also had tentative family plans to go to an Escape room today which everyone convinced me was not a good idea because I’d be sneezing and coughing on everything.
So to say that I have not been in the best mood the past few days is a bit of an understatement. And yet now, at this moment. My heart is bursting with love and joy.
Why you ask? Because of a 9-year girl and her messages (both public and private) on Twitter.
Now granted, Olivia Van Ledtje is not your average 9 year old. She is a force of positivity and all that is good in the world (the analogue AND online world). She is inspiring and hopeful and one of the students I feature in my book, Social LEADia. She calls me her #CanadianTeacher 🙂 Olivia is proof of how students are not waiting until they grow up to lead and certainly how positively they can impact others! And her voice, among the other powerful student voices in the book epitomize the importance of student voice–not just as an idea we talk about in education, but as essential and valuable to teaching and learning.
It may have taken her all of 10 minutes to actually create a video and share it with me, but she didn’t have to. However, in so doing, Olivia made such a positive impact on me today!
This is in fact the core of the book based on George Couros’ definition of Digital Leadership: to use social media to improve the lives, well-being and circumstances of others (2015).
One of my favourite quotes by Leo Buscaglia goes like this:
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
I think that it is essential that we apply this to our face to face dealings with people, but I think we underestimate the extent to which we might do this virtually as well. It does us well to remember that behind our screens are vibrant, complicated, wounded and/or wonderful people. Everyone could use a kind gesture.
Here is Liv’s video:
— Olivia Van Ledtje (@thelivbits) July 9, 2017
How might you make someone’s world brighter today?