by Barb Smorynski, Sartell
Spoiler alert: This will not be a K.I.S.S.– keep it short and simple – remedy. Why? Because life is messy.
There is always that internal judging dialogue: Who am I? Or who am I kidding? How am I unique? How can I belong? I don’t seem to fit in. Or the world hates me. What are the options to belong and contribute? Who are the positive role-models I admire? How can I rise above people and circumstances to have the strength and fellowship to be me? And so it goes. Where can we go to find the answers?
Grab Google. Just remember the right search words for an exact answer to each question.
But no matter, we live in Sartell, the city that is “Alive and Growing.” You heard it was just a bedroom community for St. Cloud? No, no, no! People actually live here. They grow by using the walking trails and parks to appreciate nature or participate in team sports bringing more oxygen to their brains and heart! They go to church to connect to the spiritual realm here and at the end of the journey. Many have extended family here. This is where they go to school. In fact, people from every socio-economic level seek a house or apartment here. This is where we volunteer for the betterment of others, choose our vocation and excel in it. Those are five of Bill Hettler’s Six Dimensions of Wellness.
The sixth? Oh, that is those emotion-grabbing thoughts; you know, that internal judging dialogue that plagues everything else we do. If we were lucky, our parents took us to a library’s parent-and-baby (birth to 2) lapsits’ program. You know, that rhyming, singing, finger playing; boardbook reading, triangle tinging and toss, bounce, throw a humongous ball bigger than you were? That was imprinting a love of life and a love of learning. Of course the world will love you: You are full of life!
These things helped you develop EQ, emotional intelligence, by engaging your personality and teaching you interactive communication. Later, you graduated to the 3- to 5-year-olds’ storytimes to finish the EQ basics of shared meaning and the give-and-take of feelings where you eventually actually understood the thoughts behind the words people said to you (Stanley Greenspan’s Tuning In To Each Child). EQ enhances IQ so while you were being lavished with all this love and stimuli of the senses, all those “coat hooks” for future learning which are located between your brain’s neurons grew and grew. Who knows, you might become a Mensa, or a very smart competent person?
Who cares you had EQ for an upbringing in those library programs organized by an Masters of Library-educated librarian? Who cares you jumped on one foot and then the other begging your parent: “Can we go yet? Can we go yet; I can be the sleuth in the latest mystery book.” The library was a place where you could time-travel, browsing the shelves of your interests the librarian had directed you to, find enhanced answers to school questions and understand the secrets of your world through your favorite author. Like the superhero you might have just read about, the MLS professional knows specific computer links, which movies you might like to rent, motivational books, organizations, journals and more. You met your best friend in the reading club. This was the place you could always be yourself with its sense of belonging and acceptance.
You care, because through participation in the library you learned Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence of “self-awareness, impulse-control, persistence, zeal, self-motivation, empathy, social deftness.” Like Bill Murray said in Scrooged, “It’s not too late if you really want it.” You, your children and your neighbors can have a centrally located neighborhood library here in Sartell, with GRRL, MLS librarians to share their knowledge. You’ve heard of mind-body wellness? It literally begins in a library with reflections, insights and answers.
Spoiler reveal: I taught baby lapsits, heard the chortles of delight and answered perplexed moms’ questions organized by an MLS!