Does Feeling Guilt Make Us a Better Person?

I feel guilt — most of us do.

Some of us likely cope with it better than others. I’m not too sure where I fit on the coping scale — Do I worry more than others? Does it interfere with my ability to move forward? Does it limit my ability to grow and become better?

Guilt permeates both my personal and professional worlds. I think I feel the most guilt when I’ve been neglectful about something. Here’s an example of what I mean …

I feel guilt when I do not send an acknowledgement to others for good work that they’ve done on an issue — a teacher for their efforts on a special event in their building — an administrator for their leadership on an important instructional topic — an office colleague for the extra work I see them do to make the system better.

The Struggle is Real

A typical moment in my professional life:

I’m at my desk deep in thought — maybe it’s a budget issue, perhaps a community concern, or maybe an organizational dilemma that needs a creative solution. I’m stuck.

It can feel like my brain’s gears are seized or conversely like my wheels are spinning in mud — it’s an immovable tension of struggling to find a solution.

Neuroscientists have learned that the act of struggling is actually an important part of the learning process. Struggling with a problem results in increased neural connections being formed in your brain. The act of struggling forces your brain to develop new networks — bridging the old to the new.

Every Child Has a Gift

Every child has a gift. But, being able to receive it means FIRST being able to recognize it. Schools are in a unique position to do that.

Mission Possible: To recognize, celebrate and nurture every child’s gift.

When we celebrate the gift that each child provides we enable that child to reach new heights of achievement. In public education, our doors are open to every child — every need, every complexity. Finding a child’s strengths can sometimes be the most difficult and frustrating part of our job. You see, for some children, their outward selves can mask their inner beauty through such things as learning or behavioral challenges, lack of attendance or other life complexities.

Finding the magic inside each child can be difficult — but it’s there — in every last one of them.