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Bring out the good

A friend of mine is involved in volunteer organization. Recently she shared the joy she finds in placing volunteers in roles where they naturally excel. She said that for many their placement is the first time they’ve ever been told, “You’re really good at this,” whether they are organizing pamphlets, wiping down tables or passing out food.

As a teacher of children with special needs, I have had trouble shaking her comment. I praise my students for their growth and their hard work, but how often do I ever stop and recognize that they are good at something already – even if it is something as simple as always smiling at others, making eye contact with the person speaking or arriving on time to school? Not often enough.

I’m spending the next eight weeks taking an EdX course called “The Science of Happiness” which is being taught by UC Berkeley professors. I’ll be sharing what I’m learning.

Only a few minutes into the first video lecture, my friend’s comment was echoed by none other than Confucius. The Confucian philosophy of Jen “brings the good of others to completion and does not bring the bad things of others to completion.” – Confucius.

This week I’ll be seeking the joy in bringing my students into awareness of their innate gifts and talents.




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