Should I Deal With Rude, Tactless, Messy, Dirty, Uneducated People?
They are egocentric, moody and childish.
Their enthusiasm overrides basic decorum in many circumstances.
They are generally incompetent, dependent and frequently demanding.
They are messy. They get dirty stuff all over themselves and don't care. They are more enthusiastic than careful . Their physical coordination usually needs more development.
Relatively unconcerned about personal grooming, they are also unmindful about the direction of their sneezes.
They do not really understand about germs, bacteria and occasional parasites.
They readily and generously share those bits of biological life with everyone without consideration of anyone.
Their rudeness may be more more thoughtless than malicious, but they have not developed the sophistication needed for using ANY tactfulness. Polite behavior is beyond their comprehension.
Some of you, by now, may have guessed that I am talking about young children.
I was a kindergarten teacher's assistant for three years-- which probably made up for the fact that I did not attend kindergarten myself, as a five year old.
Mom said my first grade teacher was appalled to learn that I was new to school, but I did know my numbers and letters, plus a few other things. I guess you could say I was home-schooled by my mom and older sister. I got along OK.
One of the few things I remember about first grade, was that the teacher, one day, announced that we were going to plant a garden.
"Is is going t be a kindergarden", I asked innocently. She laughed a lot--- like I was telling a joke or something.
The truth was, I had heard the word "kindergarten" and knew it had something to do with school, but I had no idea of what it really was, since I had not attended.
The phenomenon of "five-year-oldness".
When I worked with kindergartners, as a grown-up, I found out that these little humans will mindlessly step on your toes and put their grubby hands (that they have used to wipe their runny noses), on you and your clothes.
They will painfully peel back a gooey band-aid from their skinned knee and eagerly seek your appraisal of their latest roller skate injury.
For many of us, it is too early to see the benefits of old age-wisdom which comes so late in life that few of us attain it. Instead, we should try to understand the wise insight of young children.
We older humans have a socially acquired sophistication, a learned a social and cultural tolerance, a usual politically and socially correct way of expressing ourselves.
All of these learned conventions might not be what we really deep-down believe ... but the five year old is the model of natural tolerance which doesn't see skin color, race, religion, unusual names, culture, ethnic dress or other differences as being unusual.
Eager to Learn
Kindergartners love to share things with you.
A half-eaten cookie, a dandelion bouquet, a piece of broken costume jewelry that mom has thrown away, and bubble gum half-chewed to perfection, is a loving gift.
It is a kind of kindergarten love that we sometimes feel insensitive enough to decline.
A five-year-old will bring you a hand-drawn picture of a house, and a tree, and a sun, and a butterfly. It may have a flower and a rainbow and a drawing of their own self, because they understand that those things are all of the MOST important things in the world.
They want to share them with you, so you will understand it, too.
The teacher I worked with, Mrs. Susdorf, was a very young person in her late 60's.
She was a former high school Phys. Ed. teacher and still played tennis regularly, so she was lean, active and very self-disiplined. She was consistent in her expectations, but also kind, compassionate and had a marvelous sense of humor.
She expected a lot of her young students and sometimes warned them that their naughty behavior "might make her grumpy".
I'm not sure they understood her expression, or what this "grumpiness" would look like, but they knew she was serious and they shaped up quickly.
Why would anyone work in Kindergarten?
These emergent people are seldom devious or sarcastic.
They will tell you that they love you in the same earnest and direct way that they tell you your hair looks funny today.
You will know that they are telling you the same honest truth in both cases.
They are egocentric, moody and childish. So why do some of us choose to associate with these obviously inferior people on a regular basis?
It is because that packaged with all these little shortcomings are a set of qualities that humanize us.
There is curiosity and enthusiasm, an innocent and playful sense of humor.
There is trust, honesty, insight ... and love.
And because when you have established a bond of acceptance between yourself and a child, Heaven is pleased.
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