Students, Think Before You "Speak"

"Think!" by Shelly on SketchPort

"Think!" by Shelly on SketchPort

You've probably seen something like this poster before. It's all over Pinterest. And yet, do we do it? 

It's easy to think that as long as you're not saying anything mean about someone you can say whatever you want. Especially online where you can hide behind the screen.

And really, grown-ups aren't much better. It's an election year, and I'm finding myself more and more disgusted by the grown-ups I see on Facebook and Twitter. 

And yet, it's easy to do it. It feels nice sometimes to complain (or as we like to call it, vent). Social media and messaging apps make it easy to do this, even if we don't have a specific audience in mind. 

And yet it's even more than that. I think the "HIN" part of THINK is especially convicting for me. It reminds me this article on "5 Questions to Ask Before Posting to Social Media" by Relevant Magazine last year. What's the purpose of what I'm posting? 

If you've been my student, you've heard me say before that I teach middle schoolers because you're the most underestimated people on the planet. I love the ideas you have and the things that you say often leave me speechless. And yet, I've also been amazed lately at your ability to talk without actually saying anything. Are your conversations with your friends helpful, inspiring, and necessary? Or are you just filling the space with noise? 

This is a good reminder for adults too. You're going to have to be intentional with it for your whole life. But you know what? It's worth it. The friends I value and make time for in my life are the ones that ask good, intentional questions. The ones that share authentic parts of their life. The ones that make me a better person by spending time with them. 

Our world is so connected now. I grew up with instant messaging, but now you even having text messaging. Use it wisely. THINK before you speak, and invest in others with your words.

Be true.

Be helpful. 

Be inspiring.

Be necessary. 

Be kind. 

You're worth it. Your friends are worth it. It's worth it.