Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Just 3 Words

honestyIn 3 characteristics of a people builder from Cool Cat Teacher Blog by coolcatteacher@gmail.com (Victoria A Davis, Cool Cat Teacher) shared,

“In my Rick Warren devotional today he made a point about being a people builder and that you should do three things if you want to be a people builder:

  • challenging
  • encouraging
  • honest”

Then she asks, “Are you a people builder? If so, how?”

When I read her post, the three words jumped out at me because they are such simple but extremely powerful words to me. These are words that mean a lot to me in my daily life.

I need to be challenged or I get bored. I’m sure students feel the same way. When I’m knitting, I need different stitches or different color changes to keep me interested. When I’m gardening, I need to do more than just weeding to keep me interested. I need to think about the future and plants I want in my garden. I want the challenge of helping my plants live against weather changes and climate concerns. When I’m reading, I don’t want to read the same boring topics over and over. I like to learn new things because the newness of it challenges me. I wonder if that is why some of the awful nursing homes I’ve seen are awful because they don’t challenge the residents there. The good ones are the ones with plenty of activities that challenge the residents on a daily basis.

Encouragement is vital to a rich life. It means a lot for me to get encouragement so I know what it feels like. I try to find sincere ways to encourage others. I try not to only encourage those that are on the same path as me, but those who are going in a different direction. I need to encourage those to follow their dreams. When my children reach adulthood, it was really hard for me to encourage them when they weren’t going in the direction that I wanted them to go in. I really did them a disservice by not being more encouraging. Thankfully they were strong enough to succeed even without my constant encouragement and I’m proud of them. But that experience opened my eyes and made me realize that I need to encourage others not for their final goal but for enduring the journey.

Honesty is probably the most important to me. My former students can tell you that I have no respect for liars. Once that trust is gone, it can never be found again. To me, honesty is like a drinking glass. Once that trust is broken, the glass is broken, and can never be put back in its original form. It will never be strong again. I would rather a student admit to doing wrong, or making a mistake than every lie about it. We can fix a wrong or correct a mistake together but once that lie is there, it is done. I trust most people until I catch them in a lie. Once that happens, I don’t want to be around them or I don’t want them around me. I may have to work with them but I will only do what is necessary and no more. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around dishonesty. My husband and I have absolutely no secrets from each other. My integrity is based on my honesty. People know that what I say is honest and if I made a mistake or misspoke, I will admit it and not cover it up.

I remember one of my principals who I truly respected felt the same way about honesty. I think we had the same values which made my life easier at the work place. I remember one time, that another teacher made a major mistake during testing and as the head of the department, I admitted to my principal that my directions weren’t clear enough. I think the teacher’s actions were due to my own actions. Instead of getting furious with me, he said we needed to fix the problem and we calmly came up with a plan. He told me that he was glad that I admitted to our mistakes rather than trying to sweep it under a rug or blame others because it was much easier to fix at this point. He didn’t hold it against me during the year and I feel like I earned his respect too.

How do these words work in your life? Please share?

Image: 'Philippines III'
Found on flickrcc.net

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