Mutterings: Change not the Innocent

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Scribble
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When I was teaching art and design many years ago I used to believe that changing a student and making them better was the ultimate achievement for a teacher. The pride of having the opportunity to call them my students or my best students was something great to behold and boast around.

Sometimes I drive them to become better art students so much I inadvertently add more pressure to them to go where I want them to go; on the highest mountain top. Since the obvious reason for me to push them was to elevate them to meet with success measured by monetary gains I felt I was doing the right thing in preparing them for the dog eat dog onslaught.

With this occupational hazard, I took it with me everywhere I went with the intent to change people for the better; that is, according to my principles. It was not until I came face to face with someone who questioned my integrity that made me think about other people’s individuality and the choices they prefer to make. Right or wrong, good or bad, it is all relative to how we were brought up to think and make bias judgments.

One thing I learned from this is that we can never change anyone for the better or the worse. We can inspire or motivate them or we could destroy their faith and break their confidence. But in the end, it is up to them to pick themselves up or to remain in the arms of defeat.

You can make someone really unhappy by making their lives difficult or you could reach out a hand of kindness to help them up. That is also a choice. And in the first place, who are we to want to change someone else when our lives are full of doubts, anxieties and all kinds of insecurities.

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