As I think back on this past year, my mind is reeling with all of the things that I have learned about leadership, friendship, relating to others, God, and the like. Below is one that is not new, but carries a deeper profoundness than before perhaps. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and wiser; in all reality it is probably more connected to the grace of God in my life, and his answering my desperate cries for the desire to be a more caring and understanding individual.
Listen to the stories of others - This is something that we did in my RA team this year. DaVonne made space for each of us to share our faith journeys with one another during our weekly meetings. I will speak for myself saying that it really helped me to see where my colleagues were coming from, the experiences that shaped them and brought them up until this moment. This gave me a deeper insight into the way they live, their gifts, struggles, etc. I really appreciated the vulnerability we shared as a group and I felt as though it helped us to get to know one another a lot better.
For me, this realization all boils down to this: everyone has a story; don't judge someone before you take the time to either listen to them or walk a mile in their shoes.
Yoder RAs for the 2011-12 school year, I love and appreciate each of you so much! I would like to say thanks you for great year of memories to Audrey, Austin, Julz, Justin, Luis, and Martin! And a huge shout out to our fearless leader, DaVonne. We couldn't have done it without you.