A student I’ve had for the last two years told me today that she and her peers have grown accustomed to their birthday candy and birthday cards, and she’s not sure how they’ll handle it next year.

“I’ve kept my birthday cards from both years,” she said.

I can’t explain how sacred the space between us felt in that moment.

When we say, “What you did lifted me up,” we anoint both the work and the relationship as holy. We say, “Your fight is seen and is important to me because you belong to me.”

And so the tables flip: the one who was doing the lifting and the pouring is now the one being lifted and being poured into.

It’s upside down.

It’s the great reversal.

It’s one of the most humbling and rewarding parts of working with students.

And our world needs more of it.

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