Making Pearls

To start off our weekly activities here at Imprint, we wanted to start with a thought exercise. Most of us are familiar with a pearl’s source: the humble oyster. What might be less familiar is how they’re made. These sea creatures filter gallon after gallon of water every day in order to filter feed and get a well-rounded diet. A byproduct of filtering all that water is sand entering the oyster’s interior.

While most of the sand naturally makes its way out, occasional grains will evade capture and lodge themselves inside. After experiencing pain and discomfort, the oyster begins to layer the sand in calcium carbonate to soften its edges and eventually eliminate the pain source. Over time, these layers build on each other, eventually forming the perfect sphere we all know and love in the quintessential pearl.

Like the oyster, we often get irritants, big or small, passing through our lives. Most, like getting cut off in traffic or stubbing your toe, leave as quickly as they entered. Others stay longer and cause much more stress than we may realize. Even if it takes a long time, we typically end up coming out the other side wiser.

What events in your life started off as stressors that, looking back on them now, turned out to be big lessons? Take 5 minutes to think of up to 3 memories. Then, take another 5 minutes to write out what you learned from them. Understanding how our experiences have shaped us can be used to help students better navigate their own life changes.