Crew-cut socks work best with ankle boots.
The weather in Florida took a huge downward spike last week, getting into the low 20s and 30s – I know, crazy. The rest of the country might scoff at us as they experience their own bomb cyclones, severe snow storms, and below 0°F weather, but us Floridians and our surroundings are simply not prepared for such weather. Schools shut down, roads closed, and officials advised us to stay inside. We can withstand intense humidity and heat at the top of the thermometer, but the low end is just not our thing.
After wearing my tall, cozy boots for a few days in a row, I went out to the store to buy a few extra pairs of snuggly socks to keep my toes warm. As I perused the sock section with a small variety of different colors and styles, I chose a few pairs to add to my collection. As I was about to leave and go purchase my items, a woman nearby caught my attention, and she looked nervous, almost embarrassed. She step towards me and stated that she was from South Florida and therefore new to cold weather. She then asked me to explain the different types of socks.
Relieved that this was a question I could answer, I turned to the rack beside us and began to explain the different styles of socks and what types work best with which types of shoes. I described the difference between ankle socks, crew-cut socks, knee-high socks, and over-the-knee socks. They sound pretty self-explanatory, but this overwhelmed shopper showed visible relief and gratitude after I took a few moments to help her out.
It was something so simple. I mean, really, really, simple. And it made a difference.
I have been a student for my entire life since preschool. I love to learn, and I keep choosing to attend more school. But what I love even more than learning new things, is sharing those things with others. Up until the end of my college undergraduate schooling, I felt like I was learning so much new information every day, but could find few ways to share that learning with the people around me. My classmates were learning the same things as me, and not many people really wanted to hear about classical conditioning, z-scores, or the difference between convergent and discriminant validity (understandably).
Since starting my graduate program, I feel like the tides have completely shifted. As I learn about how humans work, communicate, and function, I find myself sharing my learning about mental health with the people around me at every chance I get, and they actually want to hear about it! I still have a long way to go in my own learning, but my growing understanding of emotions, thoughts, actions, and the influence of one’s background already helps me make an impact in the world around me. The concepts that have become so natural and understandable to me can make such a difference in someone’s new revelation or understanding of themselves, a relationship, or a loved one.
When we share what we know, we can help uplift the people around us. As simple as it may seem, with all of the information in the world there is no way one human can know everything, so sharing our knowledge and listening to others enables us to live a more full life. Whether we have a high school degree, a PhD, a certificate, trade school learning, job experience, or even just life experience, we all have something that we can contribute. It may take some deliberation, creativity, and courage to find effective ways to share what we know, but we each hold something valuable worth sharing.
Our roles in the world all look different, designed by our Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves. He gives us gifts and experiences so that we can grow as individuals and then grow as a community, all the while using what we have to honor Him.
I think it will be a long time until I really feel confident in my abilities as a mental health counselor, but as long as I share what I know and do my best to help the people around me in the way that they need, whether it be types of socks or something much greater, I know that I will be doing my part alongside the Wonderful Counselor.
In Joy, Monica
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD.