I had a college professor that once said an original idea is “one that you forgot who you got it from.” Sounds about right, especially in my case as I get older because it’s getting more difficult to think up new things and my memory is rapidly waning. This little piece of nothing that I’m writing can be thought of as 5 Bs and an A that you can get from any teacher worth their salt as an educator. Pretty good report card for a student of life like myself. We are all students of life. We never stop learning about it and we must always try to be the best we can be in any thing we intend to do. So, first, here are the 5 Bs.
Be honest. Nobody will trust a fake. A fake is someone that plays a good game but deep down is there for a totally different reason than what one may expect–for himself, and he will do whatever it takes get what he wants regardless of what it may be or at whose expense. An honest person shoots as straight as possible which equates to reliability, empathy, generosity and kindness, to name a few descriptors of genuineness. Hey, there’s another one.
Be open. Being honest leads to an openness of character that says, “I am here for you regardless of the time of day or night.” Now most of us can be that way toward the ones we are closest to, ie., family and close friends, but an open person approaches everyone that way and without partiality. A truly open and honest person never rushes to judgement against another, but tries to seek an understanding in any given situation that is favorable toward the other person and their motives.
Be fair. If you’ve raised a family, you are aware that kids are the most avid umpires of all time. Teachers are well aware of that too and we can take a pretty good lesson from our youngsters. Kids are vigilant about equality of treatment and they demand fairness, though possibly from ulterior and self-centered motives. It is easy to unfairly assess a person by outward appearances; their clothes, their neighborhood, their gender, their skin color, their aptness, or lack thereof, to conform to normality, etc. Hey! None of that matters to a fair person. All are human beings, and should be treated the same as…me? Oooh, that’s hitting close to home, eh? But it’s true if you are fair.
Be interested. The key to excelling in anything is being excited about the possibilities of what may happen from it. Teachers are always fighting apathy in students, and they fight it with a display of enthusiasm about whatever they are trying to teach. Interest doesn’t just happen from nothing. It is founded in knowledge, acted upon from faith in that knowledge, and realized in success. Success is the realization of faith in what one knows that pushes them on to achieving their dream of what could be. That all begins with being interested!
Be prepared. One thing a teacher learns from day one on the job about self-preservation in their work is to make certain they are steeped in self-preparation. Proper preparation is the mark of a master teacher, because to go before a class of, say, sixth graders without your ducks in a row is a sure fire way to get eaten for lunch, so to speak. Life will do that to you as well unless you’re prepared. You can even be prepared to fail, because what better thing to be prepared for than to fail. How else will you live with your failure.
I realize this has all been nauseatingly general so far, but please try to see the Bs as a versatile set of tools that one can apply to any situation in life, any endeavor for profit, livelihood or social interaction, or any movement toward personal growth. They are user friendly and easily accessible to the person that respects their respectable teachers.
And now for the A: Assume the best in others. Productive societies are based on a general assumption that all people want what is best for everyone and that all should be equally respected so. However, as foolproof as that theory sounds, because of our “human nature” that is prone to selfish suspicion, it is easy to fall into the mindset of a cynic, one who generally assumes the worst in the motives of others. Successful teachers cannot assume the mind of a cynic toward their students, though all indications may point to the contrary in some of them. Good teachers believe the best about each and every child in their room, regardless of what some may say or do, and because of that belief, the teacher searches for ways to find the best in all their students. So, stealing from teachers the proclivity to think the best of all students, I recommend that for all people. What if you believe in a loser, or a shyster and wrongly think the best of them? You’ve still won and they’ve still lost.
My hope is that you have gotten some good from the past 6 minutes and 53 seconds.
Bye for now.