Toe-to-toe with my chain-smoking teacher!

by Lauri

At 17 years old, I went toe-to-toe with my chain-smoking teacher.

In the final term of my senior year in high school, our grumpy old government teacher decided to help “prepare us for college” by assigning our class an extra 15 page paper.

Our government class was half-filled with college-bound AP students. (The other half were not college-bound.)

The college-bound among us had already worked ourselves to the bone through actual AP courses and college applications. We were ready for the “I’ve already gotten in to college, now I’m just gonna coast until graduation” period we were expecting.

None of the other government classes were being assigned the extra 15 page paper. Just our class.

Looking back I can see his heart was in the right place, but at the time it felt like an unfair punch in the gut.

I found myself raising my hand and speaking up.

I started out tentatively, checking to make sure I wasn’t offending any of my not-college-bound friends.

Encouraged by my classmates’ approving and thankful eyes, I jumped in with both feet.

The stubborn Taurus in me debated the teacher at every turn, citing reason after reason, pointing out the injustice of it all.

My classmates nodded in wonder and amazement, stunned to see shy, quiet Lauri suddenly digging her heels in and speaking with such commitment.

I won the debate to what felt like the roar of applause.

I didn’t “win” in the sense that our teacher canceled the assignment. He didn’t.

But by the end, that teacher kicked his desk in frustration, running from the room the instant the bell rang to light up his first of many cigarettes.

Older, wiser Lauri has faced many opportunities to speak up over the years. I’ve also had the honor of witnessing clients speaking. In light of those experiences, that memory makes a few things clear:

✨ I was born to speak the things that burn in my heart and soul
✨ You were born to speak the things that burn in your heart and soul
✨ The things that burn and the way we choose to speak them are different

8 billion different people, 8 billion different fingerprints, 8 billion different voices …

Drop a 🧡 below if you agree.

With passion & love,


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