The other night in a dream, someone told me, “You can either have a project …or be the project.”

In other words, always be doing something constructive with your life or somebody will come along, make you their project and try to “fix” you.

In the news today, a New Jersey public school principal was transferred after a misspelled sign in front of the school went viral. A custodian had changed the sign at an entrance not used by staff, so no one noticed it for a week.

It was startling to see such a sign in front of a school, but the venomous reaction to it really surprised me. Ironically, people making comments on the article seemed unaware of their own spelling errors. One man wrote that he was “dumfounded” by the mistake.

Another pointed out that she had seen such errors as well on the “bulleting board” at her son’s school. She said this was “indicitive” of the crisis in the educational system in general. More than one commenter said it really wasn’t the “principle’s” fault, but the “parens.”

Seems like we always want to make the other person our project.

Instead of throwing stones, maybe someone could offer to help the custodian with reading comprehension. Everyone wants to assign blame but nobody has anything helpful to say. Isn’t it possible to reach out with compassion instead? That would be a great project for the commenters to take on.

My goal for the new year is to always have a productive, constructive project. That way, nobody will take it upon themselves to make me their project. Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy, joyful new year with positive projects and prayers aplenty!