Where would you be without all those lessons learned through relationships? Could you have grown into the person you are today? Could you have known the things you know today?
If you think back to all the little things we do for each other, and pay attention to some of the events that have unfolded as a result of them, you’ll learn to recognize the impact we have on one another, everyday.
I want to take this time to remind you that you all matter to many, in more ways than you know. I see this everyday and everywhere, and am grateful for it. Let me give you an example.
In the late 80’s soon after my move from Malaysia to Canada, I found myself being antagonized by a group of students I barely knew at my high school. Maybe I didn’t quite understand their culture; perhaps my English wasn’t perfect; or maybe my clothes didn’t suit their taste. Who knows? But they seemed to enjoy tormenting me. They often threatened me, called me names and threw things at me and laughed.
I dreaded recess because I knew I would bump into them. I was afraid of them. I was afraid of getting in trouble and I was afraid I would disappoint my family if I retaliated or hurt anyone. Most of all, I was angry with myself for feeling so weak.
Feeling scared, sad and angry all at the same time, I kept my composure when I asked my art teacher, Ms. Kroeker, if I could spend my lunchtime in the art studio to practice my artwork. I even convinced her to lock the door so I could “keep a better eye on all the art supplies.” She never questioned me. She was always very good to me.