Winter hung around for a long time in Central Ohio this year. Mentally that can be difficult for students and adults alike. We’ve all been confined to the same people inside our crowded schools for a bit too long. Our weather combined with a difficult public discourse on almost every issue seems to put many of us on edge. We can be irritable with one another. Sometimes we can be uncivil in our zest to prove our point. It feels like sometimes everyone is just plain angry about something.
I recently heard a local pastor speak and he provided some perspective for me that I have found useful. Here’s what he said:
“Difficult people are normal. YOU are somebody’s difficult person. Somebody is praying for grace to deal with you and with me. People who break commitments are normal. Not getting your way all the time is normal. Being frustrated is normal. Being misunderstood is normal. It’s normal for things in this world to break down. It’s normal for technology not to work. It’s normal not to have all the money that you want. It’s normal to misplace things. It’s normal to be hassled at your job. It’s normal to not have a perfect relationship with everyone in your extended family. It is normal.
We have this 21st Century ideal that life is supposed to be comfortable, that it’s supposed to be easy, that everything should come easy. The reality is life is often hard. And, that’s normal.”
As we work through challenging issues together as a community it’s normal that we won’t all see things the same way. As we interact with one another in the classroom or the school hallways or on the athletic fields it’s normal that we’ll find some interactions difficult.
Spring will someday arrive in Columbus and that will help. We’ll all get outside and we’ll have some space from one another. But, what helps me most is to reframe my thinking and to understand, what we’re experiencing is normal for human behavior.
My hope for Worthington Schools is that while we understand the behavior may be normal we strive to better than normal. Let’s make Worthington a community that honors differences by communicating with others in positive, constructive ways. We’re unlikely to always hit the mark. But together let’s strive to be abnormal.
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent