Jess Borjon

Compassion and empathy

Roseville, CA- This time last year, we frequently asked each other what we were thankful for; when life was “normal” in 2019 and our thanksgiving list typically remained the same every year. Thankful for health, family, friends and good fortune. I imagine our lists are much more humble these days as I find myself giving thanks for the smaller things we used to take for granted. The first cup of coffee with a friend at a cafe, lines of cars to drop off students, seeing a campus full of people bustling about their day for the first time in seven months. These things may seem small from 2019 standards, but today, they provide beacons of hope and healing as we shift our focus to the future.

As we begin to heal as a community, I am reminded of the compassion and empathy we must all exchange to begin moving forward. Across the country, there has been a division at a time when we needed togetherness the most. Now, we have the opportunity to tackle any upcoming challenges and changes together with a team mentality.

I kept thinking to myself over these last few months, “We are all in the same boat and if we keep mistiming our oars, we’re bound to row in circles forever.” No matter our opinions, we are all in the same boat and with a concerted effort, compassion and empathy for each other, we can finally move forward.

I see the energy in our students and the relief in our families as our halls fill with familiar laughter and routine teenage complaints. Dare I say it feels like 2019 with a side of face masks and hand sanitizer, and yet, I am grateful. I am grateful to our staff for the above and beyond coordination, planning and implementation of digital education, an experience our educators never expected to happen. I am grateful for our community and our families for your grace in allowing us to climb a mountain we never saw coming. I am grateful for the resilience of our students and their positivity as they have their whole lives ahead of them, taking us along for the ride.

So today I ask you to ponder, what are the small things you’ve come to be grateful for that perhaps you had taken for granted? And how do you plan to show compassion and empathy for others this holiday season?

Jess Borjon
RJUHSD Superintendent

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