“Walk Slowly Through the Crowd.”
This is something I use to take a lot of pride in. I used to always take my time as I crossed the parking lot at the school. I would purposefully make sure I was always available to talk to parents, students or staff if they needed me. Obviously, this would always take me longer to get from one place to the next but I wanted to know that others knew I cared.
The past couple of years I have let other people and myself convince me that they need to keep me away from other people on the campus because I needed to focus on other things and this just took way too long. I didn’t realize what a difference this has made for me – and not a positive difference.
For one reason, I don’t believe that people sense that same love they were getting before and I also realize that it has taken me away from something I truly enjoyed.
John Maxwell often talks about his father in his speeches. One thing John often mentions is how long it would take for his father to walk across the university campus. This was because he stopped and spoke to so many people, along the way. He took the time to just actually talk and listen to people. I realized this was something I needed to get back to doing.
I was sitting in the office. It was right before I was supposed to be in class after lunch. A new prospective parent walked in. I was at my desk doing much needed work but I was listening to this person speak to our office person. Our office person was very kind and did a nice job, but as I was getting ready to leave I remembered John saying, “Walk a little slower…” and so I did.
I stopped and I talked to what I soon learned was a grandmother checking out schools for her son’s 18 month old and 3 year old. I talked to her about the school, how it got started, the reason for the toddler program… and it didn’t take long for something to change inside of me. I had an epiphany moment. I suddenly realized what was missing for me lately… I missed talking to people. I still believed in the product, Montessori, but I just hadn’t taken the time to talk to anyone anymore… I mean, to really talk with them. And to share from my heart.
The lady was clearly impressed that the owner of the school, also the upper school teacher, had just taken time to tell her the importance of Montessori. I told her that even if she didn’t choose our school that Montessori was by far the best education for her young grandchildren. I was late for class that day, but on my way to class I walked a little slower and I smiled a little more because I took the time for someone else.