When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. – Buddha
Today, we are examining ACCEPTANCE as a virtue of leadership on campus, in companies and throughout communities. In our first and very personal post on acceptance, a couple of weeks back… it was an unexpected opportunity to pay tribute to two remarkable people and friends who manifested acceptance in everything they did. Still even today, amidst life, processing their untimely passage… I realize that, this too and for me, is a journey of acceptance. It does and should take time.
And tonight, the eve of the first anniversary of the passing of my mother… yet another reminder.
With that and them in mind, this post poses some questions around the virtue and its application at school, work and community. Remembering that its practice and manifestation is demonstrated in these affirmations and confirmations…
- I receive my tests with humor and grace.
- I seek the truth in all I experience.
- I accept the things I cannot change.
- I trust that there is some good in whatever happens.
- I accept my intimates as they are.
- I trust that I am a person of value.
… let us question and discern their real world application.
FIRST, I receive my tests with humor and grace.
How would this look in a classroom, as an educator or student? How would it apply to the reality of literal test results and evaluations? How would it impact receiving a lower than expected grade or score? If we saw results as starting points and accepted their reality, knowing that we can go from there… what would that look like? How would it impact our approach to receiving class schedules or interacting with new class mates and students on first days? As educators, how might it impact our own evaluations of students and, indeed, our own evaluations of ourselves or from others? What might it look like in the workplace and in our communities… and on Boards… in working with what we have and working with others? In facing trials, how would acceptance fulfill a healthy and effective role in defining starting points?
SECOND, I seek the truth in all I experience and I accept the things I cannot change.
What would this look like in the classroom, boardroom, staff room, community room and beyond? What would this look like in how we dialogue and consult with one another? What would be the impact on our aims and agendas if we saw what was real and true and worked with that?
THIRD, I trust that there is some good in whatever happens.
How can acceptance be a strength in the face of life? See Carl and Tina for that. See Malala for that. See anyone who is facing physical, mental, emotional or material challenges and how they explore their resilience.
Consider the power of genuine acceptance in building resilience. Acceptance is not surrender. It is seeing what is for what it is, as a starting point or reality for living our best lives and working our best work. It moves us from complaining to constructing. It is the horse that healthy and real optimism rides.
FOURTH, I accept my intimates as they are and I trust that I am a person of value.
Now, imagine the power of acceptance in building both courage and confidence; in ourselves and others. Imagine how acceptance can be the basis for real and genuine encouragement as students, educators, leaders and more. Consider how acceptance can build esteem in all with whom we work and live… and in ourselves. Acceptance does not imply that we settle. We just understand where we are and when we are… on the path at school, work, community and life.
This is our work; exploring and advancing character… moving from behaviour to character as the truly sustaining source of excellence. Ponder these questions above and more. Ask yourself… how would acceptance empower and engage in your life right now? For me… with the memory of this night last year with mom… acceptance is a virtue of powerful and resonant importance.
Before I finish… let me say…
Love you mom… and dad. I accept you both for you were and are… and I accept that you have moved on. Sending love, and honor your way… and hope to do you both proud. Miss you, but thankful for you both.
Thanks for allowing me that. 🙂
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™