Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Superthoughts: What Is A Weed, or How We Wrongly Label People

Hey everybody!

We're sticking with Emerson this week - I love this quote: "What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered."

When I was in college I started my teacher education program, and actually got to hear my 6th grade teacher give a lecture about a kid who changed her life. She said the first day of school she welcomed all her kids into her class with hugs. One kid, however, she immediately wrote off because he had long hair, wasn't dressed like the other kids, and he smelled like cigarette smoke. Yes, a 6th grader smelled like smoke. She didn't put forth much effort with the student until after the first homework assignment, when the kid earned the only perfect score in the class. He went on to be a straight A student with no behavior problems.

I went up to my former teacher after her lecture, and I kid you not, she cried. I had never heard the story, and had no idea of the situation she described, but I was touched when she confirmed it: the student that changed her life was me. My mom, who drove me to school in the 6th grade, smoked. All my clothes smelled like it. My hair was long - you probably already knew that I rocked the mullet. And my family couldn't afford a lot of the same things as other kids, but we were okay with that.




Too quickly, we judge others without looking deeper. Our preconceived notions about what people should look like, should act like, should talk like, should be like are crippling us from being the people we should be.

So, this isn't necessarily the uplifting quote I normally put up for a Sunday Superthought, but it was at the forefront of my thoughts and I wanted to share it with you in case you run into a 12-year-old who can't really help where he came from... that you might just give him the benefit of the doubt.

Talk to you soon,
Dale



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