Thursday, February 10, 2011

A little different this week....

I've decided to do things a little differently for the writer's workshop that I've been participating in for about a month now. Normally, I write the blog, then link to it on Mama Kat's website. I'm not going to this time, to keep it a little more private, since it's kind of work related.

5.) Read the following quote and respond: “Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you.” -Martha Beck (O Magazine)

This is the prompt that stuck out to me immediately. I wasn't going to blog about it, but I decided to just go ahead. I absolutely agree with this quote, even though I'm a rule follower. I think that there are rules in place for a reason, and I'm not someone to flout them because I think I'm above rules or anything of the sort. But there are certain moments when you have to go with what you know in your heart is right, even if it contradicts a rule that is in place in a setting you are in. Immediately when I read this quote I thought of a particular instance in my own life that I felt like it really applied to.

I've had an employer with a lot of rules about fraternizing with parents. There was a long line of rules about what I should and shouldn't do when it came to mingling with the parents I worked with. One in particular was always a source of contention for me. Teachers were not supposed to receive gifts from families. Big huge no no. I guess if a parent were to present us with a gift at Christmas, or during teacher appreciation week, we were supposed to suggest they donate it to the Goodwill or take it back because I just couldn't accept it.

I broke that rule to smithereens. And not for a half a second have I ever felt bad about it. Because how can I, while professing to care about this student of mine, look that child in the eye and tell them that I can't take their gift? Explain to me how that fosters my relationship with the parent or the child, please. I've never gotten an expensive gift. I've never felt bad about taking a gift, like I was taking away from the family's ability to provide Christmas for their own family. I've taken every gift with gratitude. And not an ounce of guilt for breaking a rule. Because it was more important to me to feel good about how I was treating a family or child than it was for me to be a rule follower.

No comments: