Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Quiet Truth

Recently, I find myself taking the same approach to problem solving:

First, tell the truth. Especially tell the truth about what you feel.

I was talking to one of my students today about history (he doesn't like it, and neither did I at his age). I told him that I didn't like it until I found a use for it, but that took me until something like the age of 25—"Wait ten years" not being much use as advice for a teenager.

But I found myself telling him, "First, let's get something out into the open. You don't like it, you think it's stupid, and you hate doing it. That's OK. It's what you feel. Now what's the challenge? We have to figure out what we have to do to get them (your teachers) to shut up, go away, and leave you alone. That's an easy problem. That we can do. And it's easier now that we're not carrying around all this weight, not being willing to admit that we don't like it. That's gone, and now we can get on to solving our problem." And from his expression, I think he actually felt better, being able to make his first move through the truth of his feelings.

I seem to be saying this sort of thing a lot recently.
  • What are you really afraid of?
  • What do you really want?

I don't beat around the bush anymore. I was never really someone afraid to "cut to the chase," but that's pretty much the only place I go anymore.

But quietly... always quietly. Very quietly.

Teaching me to approach the truth first, but to approach it peacefully, is definitely a gift of MS.

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