practice. One of our girls is passionate, opinionated, and always
willing to speak up about injustice. I love these things about
her. Giving voice to such a tender and fiery heart is critical, and
coaching her on how to present such passion in a way that
others can hear and receive is sometimes a challenge. She has
written the president, governor, county commissioners, and
police department expressing her myriad concerns and ideas.
During her fifth grade school year, she decided to write
to a few of the teachers at her school about a perceived
injustice around recess time. I was vaguely aware that she was
rather secretively working on this and offered just two
thoughts as she worked through her words. “Be respectful and
you need to sign your name.” I did not read the letters.
The next day as she plopped in the car after her day at
school, she muttered, “Well that didn’t go so well.” In follow
up, it became clear that one of the adult letter recipients was
upset and felt unjustly accused. As a bit of backstory, as a child
and sometimes even as an adult, I would almost rather curl up
and die than be confronted by an angry authority figure. My
This situation offered up a chance to practice my 2015
focus. I literally took a deep breath, breathed in “reflect” and
then out “don’t fix.” The predominant voice in my head said,
“Put your own issues and ego aside. This is a tremendous
learning opportunity for your daughter.” An incredibly mature
and fruitful conversation ensued. A few of the lessons that we
discussed were: when we confront people, we need to be ready
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