Reflecting … and Goodbye


(Bailey Briggs)

Michelle Buchanan-Lind retires from teaching this year.

Michelle Buchanan-Lind, Contributor

Leaving a place after so many years, I’ve been reflecting on my time here at Dakota Ridge. I’m sure many of you seniors are also reflecting about your experiences. 

As I reflected on my time here, I realized I needed to do something I should have done years ago: I apologized sincerely to someone I hurt. Once, I made an assumption about someone based on little evidence, and through my pain and anger, I treated this person unfairly and cruelly. 

The simple solution would have been to behave like an adult and talk to this person.

But that’s the problem with assumptions; we’re often so caught up with proving our assumptions correct, we don’t take the time to make sure they are.

We see this all the time within the halls of our school, with peers and teachers, on social media, in our neighborhoods, and other places within our lives. We decide something is true and that’s it. No further investigation is necessary. 

We cover ourselves in our assumptions and refuse to listen to reason, preferring instead to enjoy our sense of “right.” We lack open-mindedness.

Have you ever been told that a certain teacher or coach is “mean,” “difficult,” or “unfair,” before you meet them, and your preconceived notion is that information is correct? And then you meet them and find out that you really like them? 

Or you’re told stories about religions, immigrants, people of color, only to find out those were stories and not necessarily based on fact? 

My point is that it’s necessary to learn open-mindedness, and that’s hard. Open-mindedness and communication are truly necessary in our lives. Sometimes you’ve just got to talk to someone to find out the other side of a situation rather than jumping to conclusions about it. Developing the courage to confront assumptions and talking about them will serve you well in your life. 

As for me, I let many years go by before I had the courage to talk to the person I hurt. But she forgave me. 

Over the next three weeks, consider any loose ends you have: people you might owe an apology to, friends you want to reconnect with, teachers or counselors you might want to thank. It’s never too late to positively impact someone. 

Goodbye everyone. I wish each and every one of you a happy and successful life.

All Eagles

All Family