Recently I was asked, as a former classroom teacher and principal, what I felt had made the greatest impact on the students with whom I interacted; my response came without hesitation: I let them know they mattered and that I cared.
This might be one of the biggest gifts we can give to our students, friends, family and colleagues. In fact, this may be a life-changer when it comes to that sad, lonely outsider who feels like no one notices and no one cares.
Consider the countless acts of violence that were committed by people who felt marginalized. Whether the joined groups hoping to find “family” or were just looking for someone to notice them, many, in some way, felt they were not being “heard” or that they mattered.
Enter BDE CLUB bracelets. BDE (Best Day Ever) was the phrase I noticed I was saying to children and parents as I opened doors during carpool.
Make today your best day ever!
What can you do today that would make it your best day ever?
Students, teachers, parents, and even people not associated with the school became my targets. If you looked unhappy, or even if you just asked about the orange bracelets I wore every single day, you became a recipient. And, to my way of thinking, it wasn’t some little gimmick; it was essential.
After all, how does it feel inside if you think you’re being ignored? If you think people don’t care whether you show up or not? If someone says something mean and, not only does no one else speak up on your behalf, but you find yourself at a loss for words, too?
This happens on the school playground, but it also happens in the workplace. Regardless of age, gender, stage in life, or profession, anyone can be a victim of these words or actions at any time. And, even if no one else says or does something that results in your feeling this way, you can still allow yourself to feel this way. And it feels lousy!
So I started handing out BDE CLUB bracelets. And guess what I learned: Not only did those associated with the school respond, but others did, as well. The saleslady who started crying when she saw me shopping with my mom because she missed having that experience with her own mom. The man whose wife had just told him she wanted a divorce. The college kid who had earned a lower-than-expected grade and felt like a failure and was afraid it would always be so. The doctor who felt like everyone wanted a piece of her time, until she had nothing left to give herself.
Maybe you know someone who feels this way. Maybe you’ll decide that you want to help make our world, and the people in it, just a little bit happier. Just one person at a time.
I challenge you; try it! Whether with BDE CLUB bracelets, or by some other means, let the people in your world know they matter. You see them, and you care.
Wear them and share them.
And have your best day ever…everyday.
Complete BDE CLUB video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk1KAe6dTX4