Monday, March 12, 2018

“I am one of you.” is the most powerful empathy device there ever was. We too disliked authority and decisions against us. Then we learned why they had to be.

In fifth grade I broke the chair in my class in public school because it was wooden and I was balancing myself on its hind legs out of boredom in classes that had too much lecture and too little engagement of us learners. I hated my Dad most for siding with my head teacher when she told him. This went on for ages. I got to often dislike my parents for not defending me in situations when I felt I was right. I learned one thing though. Just because you think you're right doesn't truly make you right. Time may teach you a perspective that in the moment you may simply miss by far. I learned the skill of questioning my own thinking and behavior without even being asked by external forces to do so. And of asking what would it look like in five years! In ten? How about in twenty? In one hundred and twenty? If folks would remember you then after you are long gone, and if they remember you well and for all the good reasons then your life, day in and day out, mattered. I learned all that from breaking the chair at school in fifth grade? No, from a caring father who had the patience and love it took to let me figure out things at my pace without judging but by being firm and what may have looked unfair & uncaring sometimes. Let's thank a patient mentor and let's mentor in our turn. 

Adrian S. Petrescu, Ph.D., J.D.

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