Week 30 - OPM2 OutroBy Jeff Bryan
I am confident that both my own personal faith as well as the recent focus on the Other People Matter Mindset through P2 helped inspire my decision to donate to someone outside my family and friends network. This was a fellow educator and someone in need who likely would not see the next year if something didn’t change soon. If not me, who else?
For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.
#OtherPeopleMatter is our motto, hashtag, and the spirit of the movement we are building. It originated with Dr. Chris Peterson, one of the founders of positive psychology and Mike Erwin’s mentor and advisor in graduate school. Other People Matter was Chris’ thesis resulting from his decades of research.
As Chris wrote in 2008, he would often begin lectures by stating, “I can sum up positive psychology in just three words – Other People Matter. Period. Anything that builds relationships between and among people is going to make you happy.” Chris passed away suddenly in October 2012 and we are proud to carry on his legacy through the research on character and relationships that he led.
This week’s example is Principal Adam Erbrecht of Liberty Middle School (in Fairfax County Public Schools, VA). In December 2018, he became a living kidney donor. Our content manager Janene Ritchie conducted an interview with Adam to learn more about his motivation and experience donating a kidney. For the full interview, please click here. Below are an excerpt of the interview and video of Adam working at Liberty Middle School.
Janene Ritchie (JR): Adam, thank you so much for agreeing to share your experience as a living organ donor. Organ donation is a wonderful example to highlight during our last #OtherPeopleMatter Mindset week. Tell us about how this opportunity came about – what inspired you to undertake this selfless act, and what factors went into the decision to be a living organ donor?
Adam Erbrecht (AE): It was early in August before teachers were coming back to work. My admin team was informally chatting in our conference room when our itinerant Occupational Therapist came in looking distraught. She shared her battle with kidney disease which I had been unaware of and that she needed a place at work to add in a 4th daily treatment of self-administered peritoneal dialysis.
It is hard to explain, but in that moment, I just knew I was a match. Both my Assistant Principal and I offered to be tested and you had to first complete a check-list regarding health issues, which I passed. A few days later, I went to have blood drawn and was confirmed a match, requiring further testing. This began some very intense conversations at home with my wife.
I am confident that both my own personal faith as well as the recent focus on the Other People Matter Mindset through P2 helped inspire my decision to donate to someone outside my family and friends network. This was a fellow educator and someone in need who likely would not see the next year if something didn’t change soon. If not me, who else? All of her family was eliminated as donor options because they are genetic carriers for the disease.
So, why does this matter?
The Positivity Project’s mission is to empower America’s youth to build positive relationships. We believe this mission is critically important to the future of our country. That’s because our ability to build positive relationships is under assault. Our society has developed an increased focus on self and decreased focus on others.
We know that positive relationships can help people become happier, healthier, and more resilient — and we believe that educators have a huge opportunity and vital role to play in this endeavor. Our nation’s youth spends a large percentage of their time in school. By deliberately and consistently teaching students that relationships are important – and that positive relationships are cultivated through character and the Other People Matter Mindset — educators can roll back these trends and create strong citizens and leaders for our communities and country.
And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page here. This page is the place that we recommend you go to access all of the resources — not via Google Drive folders.
To find your grade level’s presentation, you can simply type the word “OPM2 Outro” into the Resource Title search bar or sort by Character Strength and select OPM2 Outro Week. Each of those options will provide you with 10 slide presentations. For a simple overview of the Resources page, with pictures and videos, click here.