Today the local library put on a STEM Hour.  It began with a lecture/slideshow about the Apollo missions and history.  Turns out, that before they could send a person into space, one of their missions was just to send a machine to crash into the moon.  Purposely, this machine crashed into the moon, and only then did they began a lunar module designed to not crash on the moon.  Or you know, land safely. 😉

Are you with me when I ask, how many life lessons can we squish out of that, alone??? So many metaphors, and as an educator who thrives on social emotional learning, it’s just thrilling!

But what really got me thinking was that if it was based on my mind to help get people to the moon or in the air, or to Jefferson City, we’d all be in real trouble.  My mind does not comprehend physics or very much engineering at all.  Geometry gave me a sweat.  Then I started thinking about my two oldest children, ages 8 and 10, and I realized they are smarter than their 38 year old mom! Hahaha! If we were stranded and needed to get into space, I’m pretty sure they’d get us there more quickly than anything I could think up!

While I could be sad that I’m just not that smart, instead, I am amazed by the way their brains operate.  They have engineering brains like their Daddy, my husband.  And it’s amazing because it’s so very different than how my mind processes life.  On an even grander scale, I began to think about all the different kinds of minds that comprise our world, today.  People not only strong in physics, but those like me, who can read people and emotions very well.  People who are masters in communication.  Those of us who find words and their meanings as enthralling in nature, don’t always realize that not everyone thinks like us, either.  Communication break downs are so frustrating, but not all of us are as in touch with feelings and putting them into words.

To me this is so beautiful.  It’s a God-moment for me.  Nothing is accidental.  We all have areas of strengths. Oftentimes, we don’t appreciate our strengths, and we wish we were more like so-and-so whose artistic ability is other worldly, or we wish we were more connected spiritually like someone we know.  Honestly, I took a moment to just appreciate the innate, God-given gifts that were bestowed upon me, right there in that gym-cafeteria combo.  I realized how blessed I am, with my mind, with my abilities, and all the opportunities that come with my life.  And I was eternally grateful for those who are so unlike me, the inventors, mathematicians, and artists! We need all of us!

It also made me question even more why we’ve become a society who puts so much into standardized test data.  The data on those tests could never quantify the potential inside each child, but it has the power to intimidate them and leave them wondering if they will measure up…all based on a standard that does little to enrich our lives in any, real way.

Let’s have a mission to embrace our strengths and help others to see their own when they’ve been beat down.  Some people think our future is nothing to look forward to, but when I see life through my children’s eyes, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

What do you think your strengths are in life? How do you use them to make life better for others? I’d love to hear your story!


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