The weather. What is it all about? Well, we will all agree that the weather is something that we have to contend with, no matter the form. We can scream, holler, cry or shout but, the weather, in all of its glory, demands one thing from all of us. And that is respect.
As we teach PBIS to the children in the schools, we as adults are being duly reminded that the weather conditions from coast to coast are demanding the same from us. PBIS means Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. It is conducted in a variety of ways at different schools. In one middle school, when the teacher wanted her students to come back together and become less chatty, she merely said, “Honor.” And they responded in unison, “Respect.” The class was then totally quiet.
So now, I go back to the weather. 2015 has come in with a punch that is making everyone remember the depth of the word, respect. Some may attribute these dire conditions to ‘Global Warning,’ ‘The Great One,’ or ‘Mother Nature.” Whatever or whomever we attribute these epic snowfalls and icy conditions to, we have to deal with what is happening in an effort to simply make it until spring.
As a Midwesterner, I have been dressing in layers most of my life during the winters. But this year has come in with such a vengeance, that several layers still cannot give us that total protection. So, we simply must honor and respect the elements and try to limit our time out in the open air.
When I look at what the New Englanders are going through, I first have to remind myself to close my mouth as I stare at the television in disbelief. It is shocking. After nudging myself, I remember that this is not a scene out of Dr. Zhivago as I watch a train speeding as it is clearing the snow or as I see the historic Niagara Falls truly frozen. Then, I send up a prayer for my fellow New Englanders and hope that things get better soon.
The Southerners are also having some totally new experiences. I am quite certain that many of them had to do a little shopping for heavier winter wear as they too tried to figure out, “What is this all about?” But the wise ones respectfully pulled out their dollar bills or credit cards and wrapped a little tighter to show reverence for Old Man Winter.
I can safely say that we are all re-learning some of our childhood lessons of respect. Some things are just bigger than we are and out of our control. There is no competition here. No amount of dollars can make this go away. Even those who have an open and functioning airport can fly to sunnier skies. But in 2015, it looks like they will still need a coat, some gloves, a hat and a warm scarf regardless of the direction they are headed. And they can still hear that little voice calling out, “Honor?” And they have to respond with, “Respect!”
Lynn February 19, 2015