“Likes” in the Real World

According to my social media feeds, today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day, National Cheese Lovers Day and National Hug Day. I don’t actually know if any of that is true, but I did see a picture of a squirrel hugging a slice of cheese pizza this morning so I guess I can play along.

Right beside these “important” updates were posts from friends talking about Snowmagedon, political candidates, graduate school theses, bad passwords, birthdays and a dozen other miscellaneous topics.

As strange as it may seem, reviewing my feed today reminded me of some very important life lessons I learned long ago – and are things we are helping our Leaven students understand today.

  • Slow and steady wins the race: As I see some friends lament over their homework and thesis writing, I am reminded to stay positive and work a little bit each day on my important tasks. It may take some time, but I will finish eventually.
  • Nobody’s perfect. In our culture it’s easy to forget that everyone makes mistakes. We are surrounded by airbrushed perfection, and perfectly tailored responses. But social media has a way of being a great equalizer among us, and it reminds me not to get to down on myself, or others, when something goes wrong.
  • Learn from your mistakes. This goes hand-and-hand with the previous reminder. The amount of times I see people making the same mistakes over and over, and then wondering why, astounds me. The only mistake is to fail to learn from your past errors.
  • Things change. What’s hip now defiantly got me made fun of in elementary school. What’s considered normal these days would have been seen as controversial as little as 15 years ago. Change is constantly happening, and thanks to Facebook reminding me about things that happened ten years ago, I am reminded just how much this is the reality.
  • Be kind to others. I am constantly amazed by how rude people will be to each other when they have a computer screen in between them and their “friends.” Words can hurt, so remembering to always treat others as you would like to be treated is not only a good thing for the online world, but for the real world as well.

Leaven kids are learning life lessons like these every day thanks to our amazing Leaven Volunteers. Our kids are gaining “Likes” every day for doing their homework, practicing their reading, and being a good friend. Our volunteers make sure they learn not just classroom skills but life skills, every day and in a safe and fun environment.

And you can join our volunteers today and help change kids’ lives, no hashtags required. Just go to MyLeaven.com/Volunteer to find out how you can make a big difference in the lives of children in our community today.

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