By Ernie Fowler – Nashville CHSD #99
Welcome to another year! I thought we just began the school year and, here we are, getting ready to say goodbye to our Senior Class. That’s right Seniors….It has been over 11 years coming and now you are down to the last five months of your k-12 education. Come May, there will be tears of sadness and tears of joy from the Class of 2017.
The New Year is a time to reflect and a time to look ahead. What went wrong in 2016? What can we do better in 2017? One area that I would like to improve upon for myself is something that I want to encourage everyone to do. Let’s give out more compliments in the New Year. Compliments are a simple way to bring some brightness to someone else and it doesn’t cost a single penny. “You look very nice today”, “you are really talented in that area”, “you really know your stuff”, compliments like that can lift the spirits of another person. Don’t you feel better when someone says a kind and complimentary word to you? Why are we so stingy with our compliments? I’m one of the worst as can be attested to by my wife. She prepares dinner and waits for me to comment on the meal. As usual, I don’t. I’ve told her that if I don’t complain or if I don’t race to hang my head over the toilet bowl, she should consider that to be a compliment. She disagrees……loudly. Why does it seem to be more difficult to pass along a compliment to those closest to us…especially a spouse? Quite frankly, I contend that as we get older we start to take those closest to us for granted. At the risk of losing my “man card”, I must say that many times husbands are the worst at that. My wife and kids should know that I appreciate them without me having to say a word shouldn’t they? Even if they do, does it cost me anything to speak words of praise to them? No it does not. It does take, however, some effort and thoughtfulness to say something nice to someone.
I want to challenge our NCHS students, the readers of Nashville News, and (most of all) myself to be an encourager in 2017. It doesn’t take much of a person to spew nastiness. Let’s choose to rise above and contribute some kindness to this often mean world. Last year I challenged our students to turn April Fool’s Day into April Smiles Day at NCHS. I collected over 100 smiles from our students within a 20 minute time period simply by saying something positive to each student I met. Maybe every day should be All Smiles Day! I want NCHS to be known as the kindest and most positive high school in Illinois. I want our students to come to NCHS of the morning and know they are going to be uplifted simply by being in attendance thanks to the kind word of an encourager. Happy New Year to everyone!