Dealing 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 often 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 will cough in your direction. They do not really understand anything about germs, bacteria and occasional parasites. They readily and generously share those bits of biological life with everyone without considering the possible consequences..
Their rudeness may be more more thoughtless than malicious, but they have not developed the sophistication needed for using tactfulness. Polite behavior seems beyond their comprehension.
Yes, Those People
Some of you 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 own 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 like how to write my name. I guess you could say I was passively home-schooled by my mom and older sister. I got along OK.
One of the few things I remember about first grade was the day that the teacher announced that we were going to plant a garden.
"Is is going to be a kindergarden", I asked innocently. She laughed a lot like I was telling a joke or something. The truth was that 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 Being Five Years Old
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.
I once heard that you can tell when a five year old lives in a house when you have to wash the bar of soap before you use it.
They will painfully peel back a gooey band-aid from their skinned knee and eagerly seek your appraisal of their latest roller skate injury.
But, in some ways, small children demonstrate an innate sagasity that exceeds that of our own. For many of us, it is too early to see the benefits of old age-wisdom which supposedly comes late in life. Instead, we should try to understand the wise insight of young children.
We older humans have a nominally acquired sophistication and have at least learned a 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
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 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 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.