Posts Tagged ‘Education’

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  • Don’t confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself.
    • The Tradition is linked to our encounter with the forces of life and not with the people who bring this about.
  • Pity those who seek for shepherds, instead of longing for freedom!
  • Everything moves, and everything moves to a rhythm. And everything that moves to a rhythm creates a sound.
  • What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.
    • The true teacher gives the disciple the courage to throw his or her world off balance, even though the disciple is afraid of things already encountered and more afraid still of what might be around the next corner.
  • It’s the same thing with repetition: it may seem the same, but it’s always different.
  • In order to forget the rules, you must know them and respect them.
  • The important thing is to allow fate to intervene in our lives and to decide what is best for everyone.
  • Like all storms, it will pass. The more violent it is, the more quickly it will pass.
  • We don’t believe that God made the universe. We believe that God is the universe and that we are contained in Him, and He in us.
    • … here we are part of everything and we celebrate rather than pray.
  • The truth is that with each step we take, we arrive.
    • You are on the right path… arriving with each step you take.
  • When we step out of our normal world and leave behind us all the usual barriers and prejudices, we tend to become more adventurous.
  • Everything is worship if you are focus on the present moment.
    • When you are washing up, pray. Be thankful that there are plates to be washed; that means there was food, that fed someone, that you’ve lavished care on one or more people, that you cooked and laid the table.
  • Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor.
  • … because we all know everything: it’s merely a question of believing.
  • Live now what others will only live in the future.
  • [Love] It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant and rank.
  • Anyone who believes they have failed will always fail. Anyone who has decided that they cannot behave any differently will be destroyed by routine. Anyone who has decided to block all changes will be transformed into dust.
  • … there were two traditions, one that makes us repeat the same thing for centuries at a time, and another that opens the door into the unknown.
  • … common sense will prevail and religions will revert to being a refuge for the weak, who are always in search of guidance.
  • In order for the more substantial pieces of wood to catch fire, the kindling must burn first. In order for us to liberate the energy of our strength, our weakness must first have a chance to reveal itself.

The Lesson of the Butterfly

Posted: August 11, 2013 in Short Stories
Tags: ,

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

As you go through life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.

  • His teaching was not intended to bring comfort but to shake people into awareness of the dangerous state of the world for which every individual was responsible since, according to him, every individual was the world in microcosm.
  • For discipleship, it was necessary to take leaps in the dark, to live dangerously, to feel strongly enough to be able to jump out of the window, to change oneself radically.
  • You must struggle for the same freedom. There must be constant turmoil within… I wish I could invent a new language but as I cannot I would like to destroy your old phraseology and conceptions. No one can give you liberation, you have to find it within… Liberation is not for the few, the chosen, the select.
  • You cannot help until you yourself are beyond the need of help.
  • Truth does not give hope; it gives understanding… If you would seek the Truth you must go out, far away from the limitations of the human mind and heart and there discover it – and that Truth is within yourself. Is it not much simpler to make Life itself the goal than to have mediators, gurus, who must inevitably step down the Truth and hence betray it? … Do not quote me afterwards as an authority. I refuse to be your crutch.
  • Of course there is neither good nor evil. Good is that of which you are not afraid; evil is that of which you are afraid. So, if you destroy fear, you are spiritually fulfilled… When you are in love with life, and you place that love before all things, and judge by that love, and not by your fear, then this stagnation which you call morality will disappear.
  • I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally… If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organize a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others.
  • Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it.
  • The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.
  • I want to do something in the world and I’m going to do it with unwavering concentration.
  • Pure love is like the perfume of the rose, given to all. The sun does not care on whom it shines…
  • Look, one must have no beliefs or even ideas for they belong to all kinds of reactions and responses… if you are alert, free from ideas, beliefs, etc. in the present, then you can see infinitely and this perception is joy.
  • In everything, in all men, there is the totality, the completeness of life… By completeness I mean freedom of consciousness, freedom from individuality. That completeness which exists in everything cannot progress: it is absolute. The effort to acquire is futile, but if you can realize that Truth, happiness, exists in all things and that the realization of that Truth lies only through elimination, then there is a timeless understanding… By continually being self-recollected you become fully conscious, and then you liberate the mind and the heart and know harmony, which is completeness.
  • On the problem of sex: It has become a problem because there is no love. When we really love there is no problem, there is an adjustment, an understanding. It is only when we have lost the sense of true affection, that profound love in which there is no sense of possessiveness, that there arises the problem of sex. It is only when we have completely yielded ourselves to mere sensation that there are many problems concerning sex. As the majority of people have lost the joy of creative thinking, naturally they turn to the sensation of sex which becomes a problem, eating their minds and hearts away.
  • Choiceless awareness
    • Choice implies direction, an action of the will. K, as he explained it, was talking about awareness from moment to moment of all that was taking place inside oneself without any effort to change or direct it. It was a matter of pure observation, of looking, which would lead to self-transformation without effort.
  • No social reform would ever end human misery; people would always transform any new system into what they themselves were; throughout history every utopian revolutionary movement had reverted to the old order of things because the people in them had not changed at all; society of any kind was the result of the individual and the individual was the result of the society; the individual was you and me; society could not be transformed from the outside; it could be transformed only by transforming totally the human being, by each one of us, within himself.
  • There is a maturity that is not to be forced, not to be artificially stimulated.
  • One must be an individual, sane and balanced, not belonging to any race, country or to any particular ideology. Then perhaps sanity and peace will come back to the world.
  • Without changing our daily life we can’t have peace, and war is a spectacular expression of our daily conduct.
  • Thought inevitably breeds the feeling of ownership, that possessiveness which consciously or unconsciously cultivates jealousy. Where jealousy is, obviously love is not; and yet with most people, jealousy is taken as an indication of love… Thought is the greatest hindrance to love.
    • We fill our hearts with the things of the mind and therefore keep our hearts ever empty and expectant. It is the mind that clings, that is envious, that holds and destroys… We do not love and let it alone, but crave to be loved; we give in order to receive, which is the generosity of the mind and not of the heart. The mind is ever seeking certainty, security; and can love be made certain by the mind? Can the mind, whose very essence is of time, catch love, which is its own eternity?
  • The ignorant man is not the unlearned but he who does not know himself, and the learned man is stupid when he relies on books and knowledge and on authority to give him understanding. Understanding comes only through self-knowledge, which is awareness of one’s total psychological process. Thus education, in the true sense, is the the understanding of oneself, for it is in each of us that the whole of existence is gathered.
  • How necessary it is to die each day, to die each minute to everything, to the many yesterdays and to the moment that has just gone by! Without death there is no renewing, without death there is no creation. The burden of the past gives rise to its own continuity, and the worries of yesterday give new life to the worries of today.
    • The past and the unknown do not meet at any point; they cannot be brought together by any act whatsoever; there is no bridge to cross over nor a path that leads to it. The two has never met and will never meet. The past has to cease for the unknowable, for that immensity to be.
    • To be free of authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigor and passion.
  • As the eyes were closed, the body, the brain seemed to plunge into unfathomable depths, into states of incredible sensitivity and beauty.
  • The urge for the repetition of experience, however pleasant, beautiful, fruitful, is the soil in which sorrow grows.
    • It’s the thing that every human craves for and because they crave it, it eludes them.
  • Truth cannot be exact. What can be measured is not truth. That which is not living can be measured and its height be found.
  • … whether one found a talk more or less meaningful depended more on one’s own state of receptivity than on what he said.
  • It was the escape from loneliness that brought sorrow, not the fact of loneliness, of death; grief was self-pity, not love.
  • The self looks at all its inner states of being with its own conditioned mind and therefore what it sees is a replica of itself; what we are is what we see. The conception of a superior self which can direct one’s other selves is an illusion, for there is only one self.
  • Very simply put, thought is the response of memory, the past… When thought is functioning it is the past, therefore there is no new living at all; it is the past living in the present, modifying itself and the present.
    • All continuity is thought; when there is continuity there is nothing new.
  • The bondage is the demand for its continuation.
  • The only way to avoid sorrow is to be without any resistance, to be without any movement away from sorrow, outwardly or inwardly, to remain totally with sorrow without wanting to go beyond it.
  • Substitute for thinking the act of attention – the power to look.
  • Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life – perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody. That is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority. When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy, if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.
  • Fear arises from the desire for security.
    • If there is complete psychological security there is no fear, but there can never be psychological security if one is wanting, desiring, pursuing, becoming.
    • … thought is always trying to find a place where it can abide, abide in the sense of hold. What thought creates, being fragmentary, is total insecurity. Therefore there is complete security in being absolutely nothing – which means not a thing created by thought. To be absolutely nothing means a total contradiction of everything you have learned… You know what it means to be nothing? No ambition – which does not mean that you vegetate – no aggression, no resistance, no barriers built by hurt… The security that thought has created is no security. That is the absolute truth.
  • … fear is darkness and death is light.
  •  To know is not to know and the understanding of this fact that knowledge can never solve our human problem is intelligence.
  • The very suffering transformed into passion is enormous.
  • We are using the word mind to imply the senses, the capacity to think, and the brain that stores all the memories as experience, as knowledge… Knowledge corrupts the mind. Knowledge is the movement of the past, and when the past overshadows the actual, corruption takes place… We are using the word corruption to mean that which is broken up, that which is not taken as a whole.
  • [On god] Desire cannot possibly reach it, words cannot fathom it, nor can the string of thought wind itself around it.
  • All that we have learned, all that we are , the whole content of our consciousness, is the past stored in our memory as thought, and the cluttering up of the brain with the past means that there is no true insight because everything is seen through a cloud of thought which must always be limited by the self.
  • The content of our consciousness is the common ground of all humanity… a human being living in any part of the world suffers, not only physically but also inwardly.
  • Death means the ending of the known.
  • When you’re angry, anger is you. You are not different from anger.
  • We have invented God. Thought has invented God, that is we, out of misery, despair, loneliness, anxiety, have invented that thing called God. God has not made us in his image – I wish he had. Personally I have no belief in anything. The speaker only faces what is, what are facts, the realization of the nature of every fact, every thought, every reactions – he is totally aware of all that. If you are free from fear, from sorrow, there is no need for God.
  • Meditation at that hour was freedom and it was like entering into an unknown world of beauty and quietness; it was a world without image, symbol or word, without waves of memory. Love was in the death of every minute and each death was the returning of love. It was not attachment, it had no roots; it flowered without pause and it was a flame which burnt away the borders, the carefully built fences of consciousness. Meditation was joy and with it came benediction.
  • Everything on earth, on this beautiful earth, lives, dies, comes into being and withers away. To grasp this whole movement of life requires intelligence, not the intelligence of thought, or books, or knowledge, but the intelligence of love and compassion with its sincerity.
  • Surely creation can take place only when thought is silent… Science is the movement of knowledge gathering more and more and more. The “more” is the measurement, and thought can be measured because it is a material process. Knowledge has its own limited insight, its own limited creation, but this brings conflict. We are talking about holistic perception in which the ego, the “me”, the personality, does not enter at all. Then only is there this thing called creativity. That is it.
  • And when there is an end to sorrow there is passion; not lust, not sensory stimulation, but passion.
  • To learn about, to understand, oneself, all authority must be set aside… There is nothing to be learned from anybody, including the speaker… The speaker has nothing to teach you. The speaker is merely acting as a mirror in which you can see yourself. Then when you can see yourself clearly you can discard the mirror.
  • Intelligence is common to all of us and that will bring us together, not organization. If you see the importance that each one of us is free and that freedom implies love, consideration, attention, co-operation, compassion – that intelligence is the factor to keep us together.
  • Independence without freedom is meaningless. If you have freedom you don’t need independence.
  • A religious center, not in the orthodox sense of the word; a center where a flame is living, not the ashes of it.
  • It was a question of being, not of accomplishment.
  • Creation is something that is most holy. That’s the most sacred thing in life and if you have made a mess of your life, change it. Change it today, not tomorrow. If you are uncertain find out why and be certain. If your thinking is not straight, think straight, logically. Unless all that is prepared, all that is settled, you can’t enter into this world of creation.

The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun. – John D. Rockefeller

Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use. – Professor William James of Harvard

Education is the ability to meet life’s situations. – Dr. John G. Hibben, former president of Princeton University

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. – Herbert Spencer

If you teach a man anything, he will never learn. – Bernard Shaw

  • Learning is an active process. We learn by doing… Apply these rules at every opportunity… Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.

Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

  • Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because of it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.

As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation. – Hans Selye

Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances. – Lincoln

  • When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.

I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody. – Benjamin Franklin

  • Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.
  • Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.
    • To know all is to forgive all.

God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days. – Dr. Johnson

Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.

The desire to be important. – Dr. Dewey

Everybody likes a compliment. The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. – William James

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. – Charles Schwab

  • Appreciation is sincere – it comes from the heart out and it is unselfish.
    • Flattery is insincere – it comes from the teeth out and it is selfish.

I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.

  • The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
    • Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it?”
    • Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something.

If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own. – Henry Ford

  • Customers like to feel that they are buying – not being sold.

People who can put themselves in the place of other people, who can understand the workings of their mind, need never worry about what the future has in store for them. – Owen D. Young

First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way. – Professor Overstreet

Self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature. – William Winter

  • When we have a brilliant idea, instead making others think it is ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea themselves. They will then regard it as their own; they will like it and maybe eat a couple of helpings of it.

Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring. – Alfred Adler

  • A tactic to show interest in other people: stage a debate and ask someone for his/her expertise.

We are interested in others when they are interested in us. – Publilius Syrus

2. Smile.

  • Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”

Actions seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not. – William James

  • Happiness does not depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.

There is nothing either good or bad. But thinking makes it so. – Shakespeare

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. – Abe Lincoln

Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the ruining tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual… Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude – the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis. – Elbert Hubbard

3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices. – Emerson

  • The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others.

4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Few human beings are proof against the implied flattery of rapt attention. – Jacky Woodford, Strangers in Love

There is no mystery about successful business intercourse… Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that. – Charles W. Elliot, former Harvard president

  • If you aspired to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering.

5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.

  • The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.

6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

  • The law is this: Always make the other person feel important.

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. – John Dewey

  • Little courteous phrases that oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life:
    • I’m sorry to trouble you
    • Would you be so kind to … ?
    • Would you mind?

Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours. – Disraeli

Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still.

  • … the more I argued against it, the more my prospect argued in favor of it; and the more he argued, the more he sold himself on my competitor’s product.

Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love. – Buddha

  • A misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.

Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him in contesting for the right. Even killing the dog would not cure the bite. – Lincoln

2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions.  Never say “You’re wrong.”

  • … but you will not alter their opinion, for you have hurt their feelings.

Men must be taught as if you taught them not
And things unknown proposed as things forgot. – Alexander Pope

A third kind of thinking is stimulated when anyone questions our belief and opinions. We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told that we are wrong we resent the imputation and harden our hearts. We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, but our self-esteem, which is threatened… The little word “my” is the most important one in all human affairs, and properly to reckon with it is the beginning of wisdom. It has the same force whether it is my dinner, my dog, and my house, or my faith, my country, and my God. We not only resent the imputation that our watch is wrong, or our car shabby, but that our conception of the canals of Mars, of the pronunciation of “Epictetus”, of the medicinal value of salicine, or the date of Sargon I, are subject to revision… Few of us take the pains to study the origin of our cherished convictions; indeed, we have a natural repugnance to so doing. We like to continue to believe what we have been accustomed to accept as true, and the resentment aroused when doubt is cast upon any of our assumptions leads us to seek every manner of excuse for clinging to them. The result is that most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do. – James Harvey Robinson, The Mind in the Making

I have found it of enormous value when I can permit myself to understand the other person. The way in which I have worded this statement may seem strange to you… Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand precisely what the meaning of the statement is to the other person. – Carl Rogers

3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

  • There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one’s errors.  It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error.
  • Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.

By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.

4. Begin in a friendly way.

If you come at me with your fists doubled, I think I can promise you that mine will double as fast as yours; but if you come to me and say, ‘Let us sit down and take counsel together, and if we differ from each other, understand why it is that we differ, just what the points at issue are,’ we will presently find that we are not so far apart after all, that the points on which we differ are few and that if we only have patience and the candor and the desire to get together, we will get together. – Woodrow Wilson

  • If a man’s heart is rankling with discard and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom. Scolding parents and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging wives ought to realize that people don’t want to change their minds. They can’t be forced or driven to agree with you or me. But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so friendly.

It is an old and true maxim that “a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men, if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart; which, says what you will, is the great high road to his reason. – Lincoln

5. Get the other person saying “Yes, Yes” immediately.

  • In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing – and keep emphasizing – the things on which you agree.
  • The skillful speaker gets, at the outset, a number of “Yes” responses. This sets the psychological process of the listeners moving in the affirmative direction.

He who treads softly goes far. – Chinese proverb

6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

  • Almost every successful person likes to reminiscent about his early struggles.

7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

  • Example: I want you to do me a little favor. Here are some uncompleted sketches. Won’t you please tell me how we could finish them up in such a way that you could use them?
  • Example: They are not perfect. We know that, and we want to improve them. So we should be deeply obligated to you if you could find time to look them over and give us your ideas about how they can be made more serviceable to your profession.

The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them.  Thus they are able to reign over all the mountain streams.  So the sage, wishing to be above men, putteth himself below them; wishing to be before them, he putteth himself behind them.  Thus, though his place be above men, they do not feel his weight; though his place be before them, they do not count it an injury. –  Laozi

8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

  • … by becoming interested in the cause, we are less likely to dislike the effect.

Starting your conversation by giving the other person the purpose or direction of your conversation, governing what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener, and accepting his or her viewpoint will encourage the listener to have an open mind to your idea. – Dr. Gerald S. Nirenberg, Getting Through to People

9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

10. Appeal to the nobler motives.

  • If you are satisfied with the result you are now getting, why change? If you are not satisfied, why not experiment?
  • … people are honest and want to discharge their obligations.

11. Dramatize your ideas.

  • Merely stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting, dramatic. You have to use showmanship.

12. Throw down a challenge.

All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory. – Motto of the King’s Guard in ancient Greece

  • Every successful person loves: the game. The chance for self-expression… The desire to excel.

Part Four: Be a leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

  • A barber lathers a man before he shaves him…

2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

  • Change the word from “but” to “and.”

3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

  • “You might consider this,” or “Do you think that would work?” “What do you think of this?”
  • [Always giving people the opportunity to do things themselves and let them learn from their mistakes] A technique like this saves a person’s pride and gives him or her a feeling of importance. It encourages cooperation instead of rebellion.
  • Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the persons whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.

5. Let the other person save face.

I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes.  What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself.  Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.  Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”

Praise is like sunlight to the human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellows the warm sunshine of praise. – Jess Lair

  • … when criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.
  • Because he had singled out a specific accomplishment, rather than just making general flattering remarks, his praise became much more meaningful to the person to whom it was given.
    • Specific praise comes across as sincere.
    • Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition, and will do almost anything to get it.  But nobody wants insincerity.  Nobody wants flattery.
    • Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.

7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

Assume a virtue, if you have it not. – Shakespeare

  • If you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics.
    • It might be well to assume and state openly that other people have the virtue that you want them to develop.
    • Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make prodigious efforts rather than see you disillusioned.
    • Example: I have respected the fact that you are always willing to listen and are big enough to change your mind when the facts warrant a change.

8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

  • Always make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Keep the following guideline in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior:

  1. Be sincere.  do not promise anything that you cannot deliver.  Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
  2. Know exactly what it is that you want the other person do.
  3. Be empathetic.  Ask yourself what it is the other person really wants.
  4. Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
  5. Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
  6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit. (e.g. If it is done now, we won’t be faced with it later.)

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Quotes
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There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the ‘practice of freedom’, the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.

— Richard Shaull, drawing on Paulo Freire

Posted: June 11, 2011 in Quotes
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Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them – if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you…

– JD Salinger

Posted: May 24, 2011 in Quotes
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Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

– Robert Frost

Posted: May 24, 2011 in Quotes
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I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

– Mark Twain

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Quotes
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A school is a place where one learns about the totality, the wholeness of life. Academic excellence is absolutely necessary, but a school includes much more than that. It is a place where both the teacher and the student explore, not only the outer world, the world of knowledge, but also their own thinking, their own behavior.

– J. Krishnamurti