When I first created The ABC’s of Inclusion, you might have thought that "xoxo (generous affection)" was just a filler. (And let’s be real, it’s tough to find “x” words, especially ones that are appropriate to the theme of inclusion.) Maybe you thought it was just a logical extension of U is to Unconditionally Love; and it could be. But I want to go in a different direction.
Xoxo (generous affection) is a reminder for YOU – the teacher, the parent, the caregiver, the administrator, the camp counselor, the specialist, the friend, the spouse, the leader – who cares deeply about inclusion. You need to remember to show yourself some affection.
You work hard. And it’s worth it. You make our classrooms, our schools, our camps, our organizations and our lives a better, more inclusive place. But often you work at a break-neck pace, consistently doing a little more, pushing a little harder, trying one more thing.
You need to be kind to YOURSELF. You need to know that you will make mistakes, and it’s ok. You can forgive yourself and keep going. You deserve the accolades and the praise; the pats on the back, the hugs and the shoulder to lean on when it’s not going as you had planned.
The generous affection is for you. Sometimes the rest of us will remember to give it to you, and sometimes we won’t. Don’t let that get in your way. It’s ALWAYS ok to give yourself a break and give yourself the love that you deserve.