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Perspective: Pause

Brayden Winemiller

Like Chris Fink, my Perspective colleague, I turned 50 this month, and paused to reflect on life.

I’m reminded of Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin on this day in 1928. He wasn’t actively searching for what he discovered. However, his experiments accidentally provided a new and different discovery than what he expected. Because Fleming paused to see value in a different outcome to his experiment, the world gained a powerful medication. He had enough curiosity to wonder, to question, to accept a different outcome.

So much of life is how we respond. Pausing allows us to see more clearly, to be curious and to discover something new. Fleming’s discovery reminds us that even in an ordinary day, we can create something powerful.

There are times when we get stuck in routine and move through life without much thought. Other times, we have to muster courage each day to forge ahead. Even in pandemic times, we may stand flustered at how to move forward. These hard times don’t last forever.

It doesn’t take much to pause, only making an active effort to stop and clear one’s mind. But it's the thing that may be most difficult to do, with so much that competes to grab our attention.

Pausing from this chaotic world filled with crises and an ongoing pandemic, we must refill ourselves. As we create that space for curiosity and wonder, maybe, in a moment of pause, some great new discovery will occur.

I’m Elsa Glover and that’s my perspective.

Elsa Glover is a national board-certified teacher who has taught in Kaneland schools for the last 20 some years.