A Thank You To The Most Influential People In The World

A Thank You To The Most Influential People In The World

Though the economy does not reflect the impact these people have on our future, the worth of a good teacher is invaluable.
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Because of the constant thirst for economic success that our more competitive than ever society possess, many jobs that are integral to the success of others are often overlooked. One of these jobs is teaching. While, of course, there are occasional prestigious professors at private universities that are paid high amounts of money to share their immense knowledge with eager millennials, the vast majority are largely undervalued. According to the National Education Association in the 2012-2013 school year, the average national starting salary for teachers was just over $36,000. Not to say any of the following jobs are not valued by some, but considering the large worth of good teachers in our growing population, it is shocking to see that teachers are often paid less than dog walkers, tollbooth workers, and house sitters.

Now, the purpose of this article is not to rage about the teacher’s pay gap. It’s to acknowledge that nowadays, many people are teaching for all of the wrong reasons. All it takes is one bitter teacher who hates his or her job because of its low pay and long hours to ruin a child’s outlook on education. However, there are few astounding teachers out there that are truly passionate about having a hand in developing the minds of the upcoming generation. It is those people that inspire, motivate, and challenge students to be the best they can be, even when the whole world around them is telling them they can’t.

To the teacher that never let me reach perfection, thank you.

While you consistently frustrated me, you helped me realize that what is considered perfect is not represented by a number or some quantitative measurement. I applied this to so many aspects of my life...the number of college acceptances I received, the number listed on my report cards, and the number on the scale - no number is perfect because perfect is unattainable. What is attainable, though, is the ability to be self-content, no matter what numerical labels society places on you. I am pleased with who I am because of you, and the self-confidence you gave me that allowed me to not conform to society’s definition of success.

To the teacher that took a chance on me, thank you.

Leadership is something that is truly never earned, as we all make mistakes, but you gave me the opportunity to grow more than I ever thought was possible. I learned that while the easy way to lead is tyranny, the right way is to be an example. I worked hard not for myself, but to motivate others. To be given a purpose that is so much more than self-accomplishment was more meaningful than anything else I’ve ever experienced. While, of course, celebrating my own feats under your direction was a fantastic feeling, watching others succeed was just as, if not more exciting.

To the teacher that always challenged me, thank you.

Though I was young, I will never forget all of the things that your competition oriented class did for me and my desire to learn. Once I reached a goal, it was immediately on to the next one. You taught me to never settle, to always push myself, and to not let anyone else tell me what I was capable of.

To the teacher that took the seriousness out of the classroom by livening it up with humor, thank you.

So many kids dread school just because of the sheer boredom of many classes. Making learning fun is such an important concept and I am so thankful that, because of you, school was not given a dreadful connotation.

To the teacher that didn’t view me as a student, but rather a person, thank you.

In this midst of this crazy world that is centered around acceptance and success, it was always refreshing to know in your eyes, success wasn’t always academic or even social, but rather individual. You took the time to know my goals and aspirations and applauded me each step of my journey.

To the teachers that view their work as nothing more than preaching a textbook and grading exams, please realize that your role in this world is worth so much more than that.

As cliche as it sounds, if it weren’t for each of the teachers described above, I would not at all be the person I am today. You have the primary role in shaping our future. You could have a hand in the developing the next President of the United States, the curer of cancer, or the pacifist that helps us reach world peace. YOU are in charge of what’s to come. Please, realize how important that is.

Cover Image Credit: Happy School

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Truth About Responsibility

Part three of a five-part series on leadership.

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In this five-part series, I'm not going to give you a definition of leadership. I'm not even going to try to come up with one on my own, because your idea of leadership is exactly that, YOURS. My only hope is that my ideas can help you better understand your idea of leadership.

By now, you may have noticed that these articles are structured in a specific way. If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, go check out the first two articles in this five-part series. I tell you why a respective trait, this week that trait is responsibility, is so much more than its definition. Then go on to explain why it's crucial for being a successful leader and leave you with something to ponder.

However, now and in the future, I am going to add a general example to help solidify my point and allow you to see the full picture. These examples are for your use. Interject characters or people you know into the scenarios to better illustrate it for yourself. Maybe you've been in one of these situations, I would love to hear about it.

Part 3: What is responsibility? And what does it have to do with leadership?

Responsibility is similar to leadership in that everyone you ask will probably explain it with a story rather than a definition. This makes sense because it is just too broad to be accurately defined in one statement. I could probably come up with some ideas for stories to illustrate my point about responsibility, but I don't think that would be helpful to you.

Google would tell you that responsibility is "the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something". I actually like this definition! But to better illustrate my point, try this little thought experiment. Think back to the last time you had "a duty to deal with something".

What was that something? Who charged you with that duty? Was it really yours to deal with?

Too often we think of responsibility in mundane terms. Some may say that responsibility is shown by getting an assignment done or showing up to an important meeting on time. I would generally agree that doing these mundane activities show responsibility, but only in a mundane sense. The completion of a duty that someone else charges you with is just too simple.

Think about responsibility. It is so much more than just getting things done. It is so much bigger than an assignment or a meeting.

Responsibility is a mentality. Responsibility is a way of life.

You should really be thinking about responsibility as an ideal which you strive for, not a box that you check. Welp, I was responsible today! I made all of my meetings, check! I finished all of my work, check! Guess I don't need to be responsible tomorrow!

See how well that works out.

Responsibility is about taking ownership of what you do, in all situations. Everything you say and everything you do. The things that you are proud of and those which make you feel ashamed. Each one of your successes, as well every single one of your failures and shortcomings. That last one isn't easy, I know.

Responsibility is also seeing things through to completion. If you start a project, you finish it. If you set a meeting, you make it there on time. If you say you will do something, you do it. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Responsibility is completing a duty which you charged yourself with, regardless of that duty.

But when you start thinking this way, day in and day out, responsibility becomes natural. It becomes the way of life you want it to be, ubiquitous and easy to see. This is when leadership comes into play.

Being more responsible in your everyday life will make you a better leader.

Regardless of the situation, responsibility will carry over. It will also spread. As more and more people see you taking ownership and seeing things through to completion, they will follow your example. Friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family will appreciate the fact that you actually care enough to do what you say you are going to do.

Leading by example, isn't that the best form of leadership?

Here is a scenario for you to view through your own eyes. You are part of a group which is charged with completing a project in a given amount of time. For simplicity, say your boss has appointed one person to be the "leader", charged with scheduling meetings and holding members accountable to the work they say they will do.

As time goes on, this "leader" is often late to meetings or doesn't show at all. This leader often forgets his duties and brings nothing of value to the meetings. This so-called leader is not being responsible, and the group is suffering. You are no closer to your goal then the day the group was formed.

This appointed leader is not showing leadership because he or she is not being responsible. Why should anyone else show up on time or complete what they said they were going to if the leader doesn't do the same? Change starts with you setting the example of responsibility.

Whether you are in the office, on the assembly line, or at home, being responsible will change you and those around you. It will make life better because it makes life easier. Just imagine how much better your life would be if every person who made a commitment to you, followed through on that commitment.

To end and to drive this point home, we will get a little meta. The next time someone breaks a promise or cancels a meeting, accept it for what it is: a lack of responsibility. Then, when it's your turn to keep a commitment, keep it. Don't be petty by saying "Well they did it to me, why can't I do it to them?". A cancellation for a cancellation makes the whole world uninformed.

Lead by example by taking ownership of your commitments and seeing them through to the end. People will respect your responsibility and return it in kind.

Personal photo used.

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