It’s that time of year again – the time when I get the “reviews” from my students on how I have performed as their teacher. Reading the comments is a fascinating experience for me. One student says, “This teacher is the best one in this school,” while another one says, “This teacher has no personality and is difficult to understand.” How can the best teacher in the school have no personality? Some students claim this is a life-changing course, and others claim it is boring and useless.
This week I read about a cute new book that’s out for children. It’s called “I’m Like You, You’re Like Me”, by Cindy Gainer. I’ve not read it, but apparently it’s to help children understand and value the ways in which they are the same and also different. Reading the title brought me around to the work I do in behavioral and values (motivators). The truth is that we aren’t like one another, at least from the outward appearances of what we convey and how we talk about what is important to us.
The hardest job I have ever had is that of parent. I don’t want my children to learn from my mistakes, and I don’t want them to make the same mistakes that I do. But I do realize that they are watching me at all times. They are learning about how to treat people, how to be in relationships, about work ethics and a host of other life approaches just by watching what I am doing every day. Now I realize that it’s not all about me and my children are also learning from others, but as their mom I know that how I act is very important in their development.
I consider myself to be a nice person (my filter). I like to help other people and will bend over backwards to be agreeable and giving wherever I can. My husband would say that I give “too much”! So, what’s the problem? Isn’t it good to be giving and gracious wherever possible? The problem is that when we give out of a feeling of guilt or responsibility, and not from the heart, we can end up feeling resentful.
As a college professor, and a high Theoretical (from a values perspective), I admit that I am biased toward knowledge and learning. But, even this notwithstanding, I have been in so many conversations lately where the problem people raise is that it’s “ignorance” or “lack of education” or “lack of knowledge” about something. We often tell people that to improve their lot in life, they need to become educated or go back to school.
I was fortunate to spend the weekend celebrating my in-laws’ 60-year wedding anniversary. The whole family was able to get together in one place and toast them and their years together. In one conversation with my mother-in-law, we were talking about habits that certain people have that in some cases we may find annoying. It was interesting – as it always is – to hear that what irritates her, is not noticed by me. By contrast, things I find off-putting were not bothersome to her at all.