Day 16 of 45 Days of Courage

It takes courage to just be a person.

Ok. Now this may sound like I am just running out of things to talk about, but stick with me for a minute.

It takes courage to just be a person. To recognize that you are not the labels you give yourself…mom, teacher, friend, bus driver, banker, doctor, student. You are also not weak, powerful, brilliant, a screw-up. Those labels may describe what you do or how you interact with the world. They may describe your relationship to other people. They may describe how you respond in the face of challenge or victory. But you are just a person. You are not your accolades, your awards, your failures or your diagnosis.

You are just a person.

So where does the courage come in? It takes courage for us to step out from behind the mask of position. It takes courage for us to not “become” our labels. Being just a person is vulnerable and brave.

It also takes courage for us to see others as just people. How often do we…do I place value in someone else’s opinion or behaviour based on the label I have given them? How many times have I worn a label someone gave me because of a title they hold? How often have I written off someone else’s humanity and stuck a label on them?

It’s time to stop doing that! It’s time for us to stop hiding behind our titles or failing to see the person in front of us and not just the behaviour.

So today I will remember that before I was a teacher, a principal, a wife, a mom, and even before I was a friend, daughter, sister, woman, I was just a person. I am just a person when I have my best day. I am just a person in my worst.

Yes, I will celebrate my successes…and over the next few days I will share some of those successes I am experiencing. And I will reflect on my failures. But I will also take the steps to see the person in the mirror, in my office, on the street and on the other end of the phone.

Can you find the courage today to just be a person? To step out from behind the mask of your title or to not limit yourself by the labels others place on you? Being a person is the one thing, the ONLY thing I have been since the day I was born, and will continue to be until the day I die.

Can you find the courage to boldly state, “I am just a person?”

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