Take a Step Back

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May 15, 2020
Issue: 
#618

Laura Secrist

We did it! “Did what?” you might ask. We finished watching all the Marvel movies in chronological order!

I saw a list posted a couple of weeks back on Facebook, and we took the challenge. Almost every night we sat down at 8:00 p.m. and watched one of the movies as a family.

I had never watched the movies before, but when Avengers: Endgame came out a while back, I thought it was my duty to take my sons, ages 11 and 17, to it because they had seen a lot of the other ones. I asked questions the whole time, and the boys were annoyed. I vowed that I would watch the other movies to get the whole picture, but never had the time . . . Well, now we had the time, so we did it.

Endgame makes so much more sense now! As I was watching it tonight, I remembered when I watched it the first time. It was a good movie because of all the special effects, and I enjoyed it because my boys enjoyed it so much, but I didn’t understand the why behind anything that was happening. This time around I was invested. I found myself clapping in the middle of it as I got excited about what was happening. I had gotten to know the characters, I knew their backstory, I had gone along for the ride, and now I was cheering them on as they succeeded in their missions, and crying with them in their defeats.

I couldn’t help but think how this is true to our real lives. We can see something happen and think, Aww, that’s nice or Too bad that is happening, or even judge people for the way they are “going through life.” But when we know their story—truly know their backstory—things start to take on a different meaning. That is when we can truly cheer for someone when things are going great for them and mean it. That is when we can feel the pain for someone as they struggle through the things that life throws at them. When we know each other’s stories, we can maybe be a little less quick to judge and a little more apt to lean in and listen. This is true with our colleagues and our students.

So I wonder . . . whose story do you need to know a little bit better? Who do you need to take a step back from and remember, before you judge, that they too have a story? Who can you be a listening ear for, and who can you invite to tell their story? We have the time to listen right now.

And if you have the time and your kids are into the Marvel movies, I highly recommend watching them in order.

Now the question is . . . what to do now, with all this time on my hands at night?

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