Let's Talk About Education

Big Little Things

September 15, 2020 - By Cristina Conforto - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I recently heard a story about a young man who was taking an internship in the commercial area of a company. He really liked working there and learning about the business. The deals were very technical and would take weeks (sometimes months) to be closed. But every time someone in the team closed a deal, he/she would go to an old bell placed in the office to proudly ring it, under the “Bravo” words from the rest of the team.

Sadly, he was not able to manage both internship and academic responsibilities, and after a while he had to leave to focus on his studies. When he was saying goodbye to the team, he asked if he could ring the bell one last time, which he did, leaving the office in tears right after.

This story made me think about small motivations, little gestures, life expressions that help us build our character, that push us forward or at least help us go through difficult situations. Not rocket science, just popular sayings, traditions, either things that pass through generations, are part of a team celebration or just lines we randomly hear in a movie that stick to our heads throughout our journey, sending gentle reminders about values or even about goals we want to reach.

And how can we as parents influence these sayings or traditions in our kids, no matter if they are a “give me five”, lines of a poem or a bell ringing? 

I still remember when I was 11 and my grandfather asked me to read him the poem “If”, by Rudyard Kipling, explaining to me every line as I read; it has certainly guided me in many moments of my life and made me proud of myself everytime I followed Kipling’s/my grandfather’s advice. But what about Cinderella’s mom saying “Have courage and be kind”, or Thumper’s line on Bambi ” if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”?

What about the memories of our parents or our teachers recognizing our accomplishments, making us feel so proud inside we could explode of happiness? What was the weight that these simple words and celebrations had on the person I became, and values that pushed me to follow my dreams in life?

So, here’s a thing: in case you have never done this exercise, I invite you to sit together with your kids to write down post-its with things you cherish or just things you like to share in your own family, stick them all on the fridge and end with a special celebration of your own… Promise it will feel great!

Last, but not least… We have a bell of our own at EARJ that used to toll for our Panthers at the Leblon campus, and we now ring it every time there’s a new family joining us!

Cristina Conforto
Director of Advancement

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