Thursday, August 18, 2016

Words are like weapons...

I have recently been told some things that happened in my grade school days about which I was completely oblivious. I imagine I was oblivious about a lot of things in my teen years, it just kind of comes with the territory. But all in all, my school days went pretty easily for me. Not so for everyone it seems. Yes, I know... shocking, eh?
Hey, I did say I was kinda oblivious.
I got along with most everyone. I got along with the popular kids without actually Being one. I got along with the 'outsider' types though I wasn't an outsider. I got along with the 'Heads' (for you uninitiated... that's what we called the drug crowd) without ever trying drugs (in grade school anyway).
I was never the shy type but wasn't the performing type either.
I Was the artsy type and the language class type,
(5 long years of Español).
La escuela era 'pan comido' para mi.

At school and growing up in general, I was always told (from my earliest memories) that I could do whatever I wanted if I worked hard at it. Why would you tell anyone anything different?
So I was chatting with a school mate/very close friend and I found out that this person's high school days were not like mine at all.
The most important thing I found out is this... If you are a teacher, FOR GOD'S SAKE be careful what you say to an individual!!
That seems almost like common sense, doesn't it? Apparently not for everyone.
An offhanded comment might mean very little to you but it might make a lasting impression on that student.

Case in point, my friend was told not to plan a career in a particular field as they were 'not particularly talented'...

um, What? REALLY?!?!?!?

I was pissed!

Who in their right mind tells a young person this?
Okay, I can see telling an adult who is tone deaf that becoming the next Tony Bennett is probably not in the cards, but... come on.

This statement has followed this individual throughout their life and has nagged and eroded their self confidence the entire way.

I was so livid to learn this and totally flabbergasted. I just couldn't imagine being told such a thing at a young age, especially when it involved a beloved avocation.
My reaction was so forceful that my friend became very emotional, having realized that Someone now understood how damaging the statement was in this person's life.

Please, folks... be careful what you say to children.

"Words are like weapons... they wound sometimes."