Tuesday, November 24, 2009


"The moment of greatest integrity is when we realize we've made a mistake." -- R. Buckminster Fuller

I make a lot of mistakes when visiting family: I assume I know everyone's agendas, I assume I know why they do what they do, I assume it's going to be difficult.

I am learning to -- and this week commit to -- hear people as they wish to be heard, see them as they wish to be seen, and experience them as they wish to be experienced. I intend to let others define themselves.

I'll let you know how it goes. How about you? Do you make assumptions about your relatives based on years of experience that may be outdated?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


What do you do when a student copies word for word from another source for a paper on integrity!?

Have we gotten to the point where earning high marks is more important than learning? Are we so afraid of not succeeding that we're willing to believe ourselves to be incapable rather than trying and possibly failing?

A friend said to me that she wants her children to go to medical school because, "You can't be a mediocre artist and put food on the table but
you can be a mediocre doctor and still have a job." I guess that was proven true this week.

This student is premed. Will she learn from the experience or will she try it again with a different teacher? I have no idea what her science skills are, and so have no idea if she'll be a mediocre or good doctor. Yet, at what point does someone say, "perhaps if this is so hard that you have to cheat, you're in the wrong place?"

Friday, November 6, 2009

How you ask a question can determine what answer you get back . . .

How do you respond when others approach you in conflict?

"If you approach me with anger and frustration, then I make the choice to either reflect your anger and engage in argument . . . ., or be empathic and approach you with a compassionate heart . . . What most of us don't realize is that we are unconsciously making choices about how we respond all the time.

It is so easy to get caught up in the wiring of our pre-programmed reactivity . .. that we live our lives cruising along on automatic pilot.

--Jill Bolte Taylor, in My Stroke of Insight

Clearly state expected outcomes but . . .

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
-George S. Patton