Sharron had been out for a week. She had frequently been absent, but usually for no more than a day at a time. Homework was rarely done, and even though she had a sweet spirit, the drive to achieve or complete assignments was missing. Sharron just quietly came to class and quietly left.
She came back after the week’s absence. In the middle of my enthusiastic, rousing lecture on the conjugation of the verb “tener”, she timidly raised her hand and asked if she could go to the nurse’s office. I was incensed. “Sharron, there is no way on earth you are leaving. You have been out for a week. You have not handed in the last 5 assignments. You are so far behind. No, you may not leave.” And on I went reciting conjugations, waving my arms around like a flapping heron.
A few minutes later, another hand went up. “Mrs. Baker, I really think you ought to let Sharron go to the nurse. Her eye is bad.” Blowing out air with exasperation, I walked over to Sharron’s desk, bent down on my haunches, and said, “Ok, let me take a look”.
There staring back at me was a beautiful big brown eye with absolutely no white in sight. In its place was the most vivid color purple I have ever witnessed apart from the paints we used at school. “Wow. You DO need to go to the nurse’s.”
Sharron silently slipped out of her chair and headed out the door, whispering “Thank you, Mrs. Baker” as she left. Fifteen minutes later, Sharron came back into the classroom, picked up her backpack, and left.
I never saw her again. Ever. While I was concentrating on cramming irregular foreign verbs into the heads of my students, I failed to notice that on the neck of one were severe rope burns where her mother had tried to kill her.
Sharron was removed from the home, placed in a receiving center, and I was left stunningly confronted with the fact that NOTHING in life is more important than a hug and the quiet question: “Are you okay?”
Then it hit me on the head with a THUD–everyone is deserving of honor. The Honor You Deserve–T.H.U.D. WHY hadn’t I seen it before? Too busy preparing lesson plans. Grading papers. Keeping the classroom clean. Coming home and cooking dinner. My kid’s soccer games. Doing the laundry, etc.etc. My chores interfering with my character. And deeming it unimportant to give everyone the honor they deserve.
The incident with Sharron changed my life. I suddenly realized something very profound that you MUST remember to be a success in every aspect of your life. Here is the truth:
EVERYONE IS WEARING AN INVISIBLE SIGN THAT SAYS…
PLEASE NOTICE ME.
Give people they deserve by listening to them, by appreciating them, by applauding them. Giving them the five positives to the one negative takes care of that great, huge, innate need to be noticed.
Dr. Phil says, “The number one need in all of us is acceptance”. Please notice me. If you will remember that every single person walking around, moving in your sphere, is wearing an invisible sign that says, “Please notice me”, it will change the way you react to the world.
Jesus was a master at this. Sixty-five out of seventy-two times in the book of Luke when he first met someone, he ASKED A QUESTION! To the woman at the well: “May I have a drink?” To Zaccheus: “What are you doing up in that tree?” To the woman with the issue of blood: “Who touched me?” And when Peter denied him, what did he do? He just looked at him with love. He paid attention to the invisible sign.
** This is an excerpt from Becky’s book, Discover Real Joy: How To Remove The Four Joy-Killers That Sabotage Your Life. Available wherever Christian books are sold.
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