The upside

The earth laughs in flowers – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Laughter is one of the tools that helps me in my day to day reality. I have worked in situations with students who are medically fragile or aggressive or otherwise challenging. We often say, you can laugh or you can cry.

I have worked with other staff who are so focussed on themselves they forget why we do what we do, or they have to belittle me to feel better about themselves. 

There are parents who can appear to be the greatest obstacle to their child’s success but who are convinced YOU are the problem. You have to laugh about it.

It’s not about laughing AT someone – it’s about finding that moment that makes you say, it’s okay, here’s the upside. Walking by kindergarten and hearing kids talking about their parents (“My dad LOVES beer”). You laugh. Or when you are frustrated by a student, and someone else steps in to help, you can look over the heads of the children and smile together about those frustrations.

Or after an “event” when everyone gathers and debriefs, you can chuckle at your ability to read each other, the realization of how you had each other’s back  or simply to say, “What the heck was that?” You need trust to do this work and sharing a smile can signify you’re there.  

It’s that shared experience, that laughter, that lightens the load. That is what makes it possible to come to work with a fresh perspective, not feel alone in the journey. Without that it would feel like a “job” not something more, something meaningful.