Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shelf Space

Shelf Space 

This one’s for the Moms…

What we know today didn’t just come to us, in a vision, or out of the clear blue sky.  Most, if not all of what we know today is because of what we learned once upon a time, from someone else. 
What we know today, in most cases, we actually began learning weeks, months, or even years ago.

My mom was a school teacher for 27 years.  She taught Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Grade.  Depending on the time of year and topic on the lesson plan, she would transform her classroom into an ocean or a rainforest or an elegantly set dining room for high tea, for a Mother’s Day Tea Party – complete with antique tea cups, table cloths, and dishes.

My mom didn’t just teach…she created.  She told me once that her goal, in teaching these young people, was to simply create shelf space.  During the unit on The Ocean or The Rainforest she would aim to merely plant a seed, creating a shelf in the mind of an 8-year old, who perhaps one day would have an opportunity to study or work in a related field later in life, adding to that shelf space of knowledge first created in the 3rd Grade.

At the Mother’s Day Tea Party for 2nd Graders, seven-year old boys and girls learned how to be well-mannered Men & Women.  Mom wasn’t as concerned about 2nd graders mastering table manners or proper etiquette right then and there, but instead she was simply creating shelf space…so as young adults or professionals later in life, they could not only draw from what they’d learned, but also add to their knowledge on the ‘etiquette shelf’ first created in the 2nd Grade.

The OneMoreStep Thought on shelf space is two fold: 

1)    You and I have opportunities every single day to create shelf space for someone else – our friends, family members, coworkers, teams, bosses, and even our students, Guests, or customers.  We all may not be experts, but all of us do have unique talents, time, and passions…sharing any one or all of them with the people in our lives just might create shelf space in their hearts and/or minds that one day could lead to a new sense of purpose, an inspiring journey, or simply a positive difference in their lives.

2)    Sure we work hard, and absolutely we can be proud of our accomplishments.  While some may have created their own destinies or climbed their “mountain” by his or herself, most of us have what we have today because of someone else.  Somewhere, at some point along the line, someone either gave us a break, gave us a shot, taught us a lesson, or inspired us to make a decision that would change our lives for the better. 

We should remember those people, and tell them or show them how much we appreciate the positive impact they’ve made in our lives.

Join me in honoring all Mothers, Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, and Aunts on this Mother’s Day weekend, for the lessons and shelf space they’ve created for us over the years.  
To my Mom – Every single day I draw from or add to one of the thousands of ‘shelves’ that you first created in my heart and mind - some years ago, while others were just days ago.  Thanks for the lessons and thanks for the love.   
I love you…Happy Mother’s Day.

One for the road…

I was a unique case, having my Mom for a Kindergarten teacher, both of my Aunts were educators, and both of my grandmothers were educators.
Last week several colleagues and I participated in Junior Achievement’s – JA in a Day program.  We spent the day at a local Las Vegas elementary school, teaching Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th, & 5th Graders about Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy.  

At first I was a bit nervous, standing in the front of a 4th Grade classroom teaching 32 ten-year old students about Entrepreneurship, Business, Revenues, Expenses, Profits, Losses, Problem Solving, Risks, & Rewards.

However, thanks to the greatest teachers in my life – Mom, Nini, Jennifer, MomMom, and MaMa – I had ample “teaching” shelf space…so I just connected the dots backwards to all the years I watched and listened to my Mom, aunts, and grandmothers...teaching felt quite natural after that.

…and my colleagues and I took great pride in creating some ‘entrepreneurial’ shelf space for the students of Cunningham Elementary School. Who knows whom among them will become the next Steve Wynn, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates...

Happy Mother's Day...

Have a great day.


" can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
  -- Steve Jobs

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