October 1, 2016
Online Journal - People Matter
Heidi Morehouse, Principal, Prairie Adventist Christian eSchool, Lacombe, AB

As Adventist educators we are blessed to be in the “business” of people. Amidst curriculum, policies, board meetings and voicemails we need to remember the happy smiling faces of our students, colleagues, parents and board members. They each play a vital role in what we do.
I am sure that if you think about what matters most to you personally, you might say your mother, husband, son or sister, not your stuff. A couple of months ago, as I was packing, I realized how I was blessed to be able to move into a new house. It was not lost on me that I live a charmed first-world life. I had a lot of stuff to go through. Packing brings sorting and reflection. What do I need? What do I want? Why, oh why do I still have this? As I sorted through my “stuff,” I realized that each thing that I held dear was attached to memory or time spent with someone. Again, it’s the people.
So, what are we supposed to do with people? The ones we work with and live with?
Bob Goff, in his book Love Does says, “I used to want to fix people, now I just want to be with them.”
It’s easy to look at the people in our lives, see what needs to be fixed, and assume we should launch into action.  We can make an IPP, Professional Development Plan, or Behavior Contract. But in the midst of that paperwork, sometimes we need to just be there for people. We don’t need to figure it all out or have all the answers. We just need to be there. Our quiet loyal support can be powerful.
Ask people how they are doing.  Sit with them, listen, and pass on words of encouragement. We all know that a simple kind word or smile can make your day. Your kind encouraging words don’t need a new budget line or file folder. They are a simple thing to do that can be the most meaningful and have the biggest impact
“[Words] of encouragement have their own power. And when they are said by the right people, they can change everything. What I’ve found in following Jesus is that most of the time, when it comes to who says it, we each are the right people. And I’ve concluded something else. That the words people say to us…. have the ability to shape life.” – Bob Goff
Our lives are full of people who need to be fixed. We can’t do that. But we can be there for them. We can give them our support, respect and love.  

1Goff, Bob, and Donald Miller. Love Does: Discover A Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2012.