Sunday, March 18, 2012

AS MICHAELANGELO SAID...I still learn! (Ho ancaro imparare in Italian)


  
     What have I learned about myself in Recreational Leadership (RL) 110? More than I bargained for. I have learned that I will continue to remain loving, kind, helpful and funny, even in the face of adversaries. I have learned that I will continue to remain graceful under fire. I will not let my spirit be daunted or crushed by the misguided intentions of people in authority who think they are so self-righteous, when, in fact, their methods of communication are often biased and misguided. I learned that remaining silent and turning the other cheek sometimes does not effect the response you may be seeking, but Jesus did it so it should be good enough for me.

     What else have I learned while “serving my sentence” in a class that is required for my graduation: that you can’t please everyone all of the time. I learned from watching another person bully classmates that being a bully has its advantages, but I will never deliberately bully anyone. Ever. When a bully demands that you take his or her suggestion for a name for your global village, you shut up and accept it. When a bully demands that you make the village mandala to his or her liking, you shut up and make it that way. When a bully tells you what activity you are going to devise for children with ADHD and even if you don’t agree or understand what the bully is talking about, you shut up and go with the flow. When a bully tells you that your village is going up first in making the first village presentation of the year, you “get up out your seat” and march to the front of the class. Just do it to keep the peace. And I learned that the minute you stand up to the bully, the bully will find a way to knock you back down by twisting and distorting information. If I was to have behaved in the same way as the bully, I would be called out as “rude” or “disrespectful”. Bullies will convince even the most educated and seemingly spiritual individuals that the, the bully,  is in the right. The bully is powerful. That’s why they are called “bullies”. 

     Some people “just don’t get me“. I get that! However, I am  too old and I have very little time left in this world to make personal changes in order to accomplish my goals. I am  driven, focused and motivated and I am sometimes not concerned with the proper etiquette expected of me in my current environment. I do, however, expect people to be just like me! I must also try harder to remember to respect others and that no one can be just like me. That would make it a perfect world! Also, I know I would never deliberately “rat out” anyone at any time for any reason in my village or elsewhere. For example, when a fellow student felt uncomfortable in the “group process’, I made a point to reach out to that student to bring that student into the fold, so to speak. I wanted to spend more time with this student. What I found  out about this student is all the amazing qualities he or she had. I found that he or she was funny, warm, cynical (like me), extremely hard-working and smart. This student is now much more an active part of our village than he or she was in the beginning. I also believe in positive group interaction and support. When a  student continually fails to live up to his or her end of their village participation bargain, I cannot stop myself from reaching out and lending a hand. Now as it seems, that the other student took my hand and reached out and BIT ME! And most recently, what I found out about myself, is that I am the most willing and cooperative person around, at least in my estimation! When a fellow student called me to discuss our  recent activity presentations and told me they were planning to use modeling clay, I told them I was planning on using modeling clay as well! But for me there was no option: I would acquiesce to my fellow student and I would make myself do a new presentation at the last minute, because I can easily re-adapt. When that student could not find the books or pamphlets they had wanted to have for our class presentation, I whole-heartily volunteered to pick some up and I made a special visit to The Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) so that person would not be disappointed.  I learned that I am considerate and trustworthy, but apparently I’m the only one that sees that.

     It has become a harsh reality for me, but in my present circumstances, I have learned that I must “dumb it down” if I want to get by. I learned that in RL 110, as in many other facets of my life, there are double-standards…if I had stormed “out the classroom door” in a tirade, letting it slam behind me, do you think I would have been given the same “hall pass” as the student who did that, just because I referenced my current familial situation as an excuse? I seriously doubt it.

     I have learned that in the future, as a human service worker,  I will never single out an individual and make them be the object of  criticism. I learned that although I may think it necessary to point out the foibles of other individuals, I will NEVER do it a public forum. In is in fact humiliating and breeds nothing more than animosity. I learned that when I am the authority, I will NEVER stand in front of a class and stare at them and call them out by name, only to air“the family’s dirty laundry”. I know now how painful this kind of treatment can be, especially coming from someone I should  respect. However, as I learned in my Group and Social Process class, controversy can be a positive thing. Let’s wait and see what happens! I also learned that that when I think I am doing something right, I may be doing something wrong. I also know, in my heart of hearts, that I have never done and will NEVER do anything deliberately or intentionally to hurt someone. I know how fragile the psyche can be. A person may need only one tiny shove to finally knock them off of the emotional precipice they’ve been teetering on.

      It is not for me to judge. Peace.

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