“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley
Beth was known for her innovative teaching. She had been chosen “Teacher of the Year” just the year before. She had become popular and was known for obtaining grants that secured monies to enrich and enhance the educational experience for her students. Sure that others would want to share in her luster, she suggested and offered a workshop for those teachers interested in doing things along a similar vein. She would teach them all she had learned.
Her principal approved, and Beth announced her workshop at the following faculty meeting. One week later, she stood in her classroom watching the clock, realizing that no one was coming to her workshop. Just before she packed up for the day, a friend came to see her.
“Are you here for the workshop?” she asked hopefully.
“No. I came to see how it went.”
“Well, I guess everyone had other things to do, because no one showed up,” Beth said matter-of-factly.
“I’m sorry. Maybe next time you could make it more like a social, and they’ll come.”
“I wasn’t here to be sociable!”
Beth knew as soon as the words left her mouth that her attitude had been all wrong. No wonder no one had shown up for her meeting. She had isolated herself from her colleagues. Determined to not let that same attitude of pride dictate her behavior again, she nurtured and shared her secrets with her fellow teachers on a personal level and regained their trust and mutual esteem.
If you find yourself frustrated with others because they are failing to meet your expectations, check your own standing first.
This story was first published in Apples & Chalkdust in 1998. It is a reminder to me about how much our actions speak louder than our words – even in today’s social media society where who we are is judged in 140 characters (or now 280). And I wonder, can we be social without social media? Can we make a difference with skin on? Can we be the “hands and feet” without being present? Here at Show & Tell I hope to show you that the power is in the “show.”