I had an incredible teaching moment yesterday.

A young lady came to see me while I was helping the class with their thesis and topic sentences for an essay I assigned and she was concerned that she didn’t have a good answer to the question I asked. I asked the class what it is that they do that brings meaning to their life? Pretty simple but quite deep.

She was stumped because she didn’t think she did much of anything. 

We started chatting and I asked her a series of questions trying to get to know her better as I have only met her about a week ago. In the course of our conversation I learned that she does her mother’s make up. I couldn’t have moved on and looked for something seemingly more important but I kept asking questions. 

I learned that her mother suffers from Arthritis and she struggles to apply make up to her face but she needs to because she has a job with the public that demands that she does so. Her young daughter spends time with her each and every morning to make sure that her mother looks the best.

I told this young woman how seemingly insignificant this seems but how utterly deep it actually is. I helped her to see that each and every day she looks at her mothers face so close that she could probably sketch it by memory if she was asked to do so. Most people don’t get this kind of face time with anyone they care about (pun included). 

I helped this young lady to see that while she is applying make up, a seemingly superficial activity, she is actually performing a tremendous service and learning so much about her mother. The face leads both of them to their hearts. I suggested that this should be the thesis and that she is going to do an amazing job putting all of this in an organized series of paragraphs.

She transformed right in front of me and realized something that was there all along but never looked at it from someone else eyes.

I think this is our responsibility to each other. We can’t see on most days what we are trying to do and who we really are because we are always striving and striving to get to something. When you are in the middle of something it is hard to stand back and see objectively.

I can’t wait to read this young woman’s thoughts and I can only imagine the great conversations they are having this very morning.


Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@honest