Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Just as Easy...


Photo from by DragonitesLair

The lines from an old Bob Dylan song keep running through my mind. I've heard them so many times, but for some reason, when I heard them tonight, I had an "aha" moment. The verse is from "My Back Pages."

"In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now."

When I was substitute teaching, I'd joke with the students that one day
they might one day be on the other side of the desk and face themselves in a classroom. I know that's true of me, since I remember what a tough time I gave some of my teachers. It's not only true in the classroom, but in any part of life.

I recall how I escalated emotionally in the early stages of my disability before my psychiatrist found the right medication combination to level the chemical imbalance. I could be very mean. I also remember that I learned to control my emotions and not react to every situation, so as not to get in trouble like I did. So in aiming "my hands at the mongrel dogs that teach" it came back at me later.

About a year ago, I went to a yoga place in Hollywood, since they have great food there. One time I saw a sign, the essence of the saying being, if you want to learn something, teach it. This can apply not only to academics, but also to relationships or behaviour. The bottom line of what I finally learned when I became my own teacher is that it's just as easy to be nice as it is to be nasty or mean. And, the results are much better.

Michelle Rose

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