I read a story about Kristen Driemeier and Heather Steighorst, two Missouri teachers, who sent the following note home to parents that said “If your family is experiencing difficulties at home, I would like to provide additional support at school. If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning or weekend please text me ‘Handle with Care.’ Nothing else will be said or asked. This will let me know that your child may need extra time, patience or help during the day.” The teachers had gotten the idea from a website called “Teachers Pay Teachers” and used it to help support students and families. Parents and guardians would have a simple system to alert the teachers that the incoming student was struggling.What a powerful to show is compassion, understanding, and love.
“Kindness begins with the understanding we all struggle.” Charles Glassman
Handle with care is usually attributed to objects that are fragile and could easily be broken or damaged. When you have knowledge that an item is fragile you handle it in the manner needed to keep it safe and to preserve the totality of the object. The idea of transferring this care to humans is powerful and helpful in a plethora of ways. There have been times where I felt fragile and need extra support or distance from those around me. I did not want to talk about what is going on so in order to let anyone know I was in a “handle with care” moment would require more than I could share or give. Sometimes I would sort through and take actions to give me what I needed and all was well. Other times the feelings would grow until they burst all over the place. Perhaps if I had set up a system for myself and all those in my circle where we would share we needed a “handle with care” situation might have helped the person struggling and those around them to have knowledge so they could show caring. There also have been moments where I knew something was not right with someone in my life so I would have the internal talk of what to do. Where they okay, perhaps under the weather, should I say something, should I not. People have different levels of comfort when it comes to how support is shown to them as I have some friends who love lots of TLC and others who will clam up and hate (yes hate) if any TLC comes their way.
Steve Maraboli said “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
Amazing humans I think it’s time we begin handling each ourselves and others with care. Now. For people in your family, friends, work, school, or social activities have a conversation about using “handle with care” with each other. One text. Three words. No questions asked. Your handle with care could mean others in your circle would “not to say or ask anything else. Extra time, patience or help is available.” For days where you are feeling isolated and lonely this can be a way to reach out for support. If what you need is to be alone with yourself and center it gives you the space to do that as well. Humans are tough stuff. We take and handle a lot. Yet in our humanness there are times we are fragile. We need to be handled with care.
May your handle with care with be with you💜